Darlington Markets

In September 2017 Darlington Borough Council transferred its Market assets and staff to Market Asset Management by long lease. MAM now finances and operates the Covered Market Hall, two-day Open Market and ‘market rights’ across the Borough in partnership with DBC. The Market Hall and clocktower are iconic symbols of the town and securing a development partner was central to the regeneration strategy differentiating Darlington from regional competitors.

MAM has assumed responsibility for a backlog of repairs, staff by TUPE and £4m of modernisation to the historic building.

Forty SME businesses anchor the Market around a core of excellent fresh food retailers. MAM is adapting the building for more leisure and F&B uses which support the evening economy and weekend trading. New Public WC’s and DDA access are proposed in the first phase. Innovative new management techniques will be adopted to help Tenants to grow their businesses. A turnover and EPOS-based facility will enable evening and Sunday trading without the need for Tenant staffing. A management-staffed sales area is being created for home-producers – part-time Arts & Crafts and Creative producers needing a display and collection for their online sales.

The two-day Open Market is to be relocated with additional trading days and support from an annual Food Festival, MAM is staging collaborative events with local societies e.g. the Rhythm ‘n Blues festival.

In the first few months MAM has launched the new website and Trader pages at www.darlingtonmarket.co.uk and staged a Christmas Market with vastly-increased awareness through social media.

MAM is now working-up an IT and vocational training partnership with Darlington College to provide hands-on experience within the Market.

The Market supports the high proportion of independent retailers which differentiates Darlington from its regional competition. An ‘Enterprise Haven’ for Arts & Crafts and Creative industries is planned for underused space at mezzanine level, supported by the Tees Valley Combined Authority. The model is based upon the success of the Accrington Haven used to inject new businesses into the local economy. MAM also provides maintenance for elements of the public realm surrounding the Market which the Council struggles to afford.


  • MAM in partnership with DBC
  • Includes staff by TUPE
  • Core to the town centre   regeneration initiatives
  • 40 SME / Sole proprietors
  • Fresh food anchors
  • Promoted to differentiate Darlington across the region
  • £4m reps. & improvements
  • Financed by MAM with support from DBC and TVCA
  • Innovative trading methods for evening economy and Sundays
  • Enterprise Haven for start-ups
  • Expanded 2-day Open Market
  • Supports Council promotions
  • Annual Food Festival and Rhythm ‘n Blues venue
  • Maintenance of public realm



The Market supports the high proportion of independent retailers which differentiates Darlington from its regional competition.

Darlington Market Square Clock Tower
Darlington Outdoor Market
Darlington Market Square Clock Tower