Middlesbrough market’s energy pledge to traders

Middlesbrough’s historic Dundas Indoor Market has underlined its commitment to protect its traders from spiralling energy costs.

In the last few months rising energy bills, increased costs and uncertainty over the future has forced the closure of a number of pubs, shops and nightclubs throughout Teesside.

The casualties have included the Queen Victoria pub and Slave to the Grind coffee shop in Stockton, Nellie’s Pancake House in Guisborough, the Cappulatte café in Redcar and the Base Camp venue in Middlesbrough.

Last week The Office for National Statistics (ONS) – the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics – reported that throughout the country one in five of the businesses it surveyed said energy prices were their biggest concern this winter.

“It has just been one thing after the other, starting with COVID,” said David Harris, the Manager of the Dundas Indoor Market.

But, he added, the owner of the market is doing all it can to look after its existing tenants as well as supporting local start-up businesses who see Dundas as the ideal place to begin trading.

“Our letting model at Dundas Indoor Market insulates our traders against rising energy costs which, as we’re seeing far too often, are killing businesses on Teesside,” said David.

“Our market traders benefit from an all-inclusive deal where they pay a fixed rate which covers all their costs: the rent of their unit, access to fibre broadband and – crucially – the cost of their energy…however much they use.  In effect we’re removing the burden of their utility bills.”

To help new occupiers, in particular, the price of a market unit starts from as little as £75 per week to help them get their businesses up and running through the make-or-break early months.

That is music to the ears of Michael McIvor who moves his business Heaven on Earth into the indoor market next month. Michael sells memorial items to help people remember and celebrate lost loved ones.  He will also read Tarot cards for his customers.

“David has been brilliant,” said the 34-year-old who lives in North Ormesby.  “He’s been so supportive and doing everything possible to help me.”

As well as the inclusive deal Michael will be on a flexible arrangement where he is not tied in to a long-term lease.

“You obviously have concerns – particularly about paying the current energy bills – but I know for certain what money I need to find even if prices rise.  That means I can totally focus on my business.”

The market has a proud record for helping new traders like Michael.  Since 2015 it has supported around 100 new businesses to set up shop or test their ideas.

“At this time of year lots of people are thinking about new beginnings and that can often mean starting their own business. I would love to hear from them if they are serious about becoming retailers,” said David.

Meanwhile the indoor market’s oldest business – Jean’s Kitchen – is offering customers hearty food and warming drinks at prices that won’t break the bank.

For information about opportunities at Dundas Indoor Market contact david.harris@dundasindoormarket.co.uk