Night markets return to Newcastle's Hunter Street Mall

MARKETS will return to Newcastle's Hunter Street Mall this Friday night after a two-year hiatus.

The tender winners hope the atmosphere in the mall will be re-ignited with a mix of vendors, artists, designers and performers.

Newcastle council's decision to re-run a night market was spurred on by a need to stimulate the after-dusk economy and bring people to the CBD.

It has been more than two years since Newcastle has held a night market - the previous Red Lantern Markets in the mall, as an annual event, was sponsored by the Newcastle City Council.

The three-market event had 100 stalls and an estimated 10,000 visitors, with shop-owners reporting a significant increase in foot traffic.

For the latest markets the council considered three contenders.

Newcastle council project manager Tim Askew said the council selected the group that could provide a financially viable solution, with a good variety of entertainment, food and arts.

Newcastle Farmers Markets, run by Elizabeth Armstrong and Kevin Eade for more than 14 years, won the tender.

"We're very pleased to be able to be part of the revitalisation of the Hunter Street Mall; it's now that the hard work starts," Mrs Armstrong said.

More than 60 stall holders will be present at this weekend and it is hoped the list of vendors will grow as the markets flourish.

■ The Newcastle Night Markets will debut this Friday, February 14, from 6pm to 10pm, in The Hunter Street Mall and will run every second and fourth Friday night.

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