Date: 31st March 2022

Young Entrepreneurs wanted as Stockton-on-Tees’ Young Traders Market Competition returns

Young entrepreneurs with a business idea are being encouraged to apply for free stall places at Stockton Market as part of the Young Trader’s Market Competition.

Stockton-on-Tees will host one of the heats for the annual event for the second year. The national event is run by the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF), which aims to find and support the next generation of market traders.

Taking place on Saturday 21 May, the competition will be hosted by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, its youth movement Bright Minds Big Futures and the NMTF in Stockton town centre.

Following the success of the event last year, where 25-year-old greengrocer Isobel McMahon was crowned the winner of the Stockton heat for her Fruit N Veg stall, the event will return with hopes for an even bigger number of applications from the business owners of the future.

Traders are scored by a panel of judges on their product quality, stall set up, use of promotion and customer service. The winner and runner up of this heat will go through to the North East regional final in Darlington on Saturday 23 July.

The national final takes place in Stratford upon Avon in August, with the winner receiving a cash prize and the publicity platform from which to build their market trading business.

Residents and visitors are being urged to support the young stallholders in Stockton Town Centre in May, while enjoying a great local outdoor shopping experience.

The Young Traders Market competition is open to anyone under the age of 30, with under 16s being asked to be accompanied by an adult.

Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “We are so pleased to be hosting one of the regional heats for the Young Traders Market Competition in Stockton Town Centre.

“The Council has a long and proud history of supporting start-up businesses and by offering stalls to traders of the future we are extending our commitment to ensure they have the help they need to either start, grow or locate a business.

“We’re encouraging budding young owners to join us, whether it’s food, arts and crafts, handmade gifts or traditional retail. It’s the perfect opportunity for talented youngsters who are thinking about setting up something creative but aren’t sure where to start.

“We’re taking applications from any young person across the Borough with a great business idea or concept for a market stall, so please spread the word!”

When is Stockton-on-Tees’ Young Traders Market Competition?

The Young Traders Market Competition will take place on Stockton High Street on Saturday 21 May 2022 from 9am.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council will make stalls available free of charge for any young trader who wishes to take part.

What support do I receive?

The Stockton-on-Tees Market team is working in partnership with Bright Minds Big Futures to deliver this as part of the Council’s young people’s engagement programme and with the hope of supporting a young entrepreneur from the Borough to the national final.

Successful young traders will be given a free stall and gazebo on their chosen market day, with business guidance, public liability insurance and support from the Market team.

The winner and runner up from this regional heat will progress to the regional final in Darlington on Saturday 23 July. The winner from this will then move to the national final in Stratford upon Avon in August.

How do I apply?

Any potential young traders who are interested in applying for a stall can request an application form by contacting

Entries close at 5pm on Sunday 1 May.

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Sam Withers