Orange Pip Market returns to Middlesbrough this month with full summer schedule

Orange Pip Market returns to Middlesbrough this month
Orange Pip Market returns to Middlesbrough this month -Credit:Middlesbrough Council

Middlesbrough’s free festival celebrating culture, food and drink is back this month with an exciting summer line up.

Orange Pip Market returns to where it originally started, alongside independent bars and businesses on Baker Street and Bedford Street, on May 25. Thanks to the support of new headline sponsor Perco Foods, Middlesbrough Council has now confirmed the summer program.

Further ‘Pips' will take place on June 29, July 27, and August 31, providing a boost to town centre businesses. An end of season Orange Pip party, to coincide with Teesside’s Pride event and Middlesbrough Art Week, will take place on Centre Square on September 28.

Visitors can expect a range of food, drinks, arts and crafts, music and free family entertainment across dozens of stalls. Cllr Philippa Storey, Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Culture, said: “Orange Pip Market attracts thousands of people into Middlesbrough and is a huge bonus for our town centre businesses, which is why we’ve always been completely committed to making sure it continued this year. We’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure we can offer a full summer of ‘Pips' while making it sustainable financially.

“The partnership with our sponsor, Perco Foods, means that we can do that and continue to run a much-loved event which is popular with people of all ages and backgrounds. I can’t wait for the first ‘Pip in May, fingers crossed the summer weather is well on its way by then.”

Established 2016

Orange Pip was launched by Middlesbrough Council in 2016 and has gone on to be a fixture in the town’s events calendar, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors and supporting more than 100 local businesses.

However in March, Teesside Live reported ways of securing the future of the much-loved Middlesbrough event were being explored by the council. It was reported despite pitch prices being increased this year, the Orange Pip Market was expected to run at a loss of around £1,300 for each event. Rising costs and spending pressures faced by Middlesbrough Council led it to seek "more sustainable models" for running the event.

This included sponsorship from businesses and a new Cultural Ambassador scheme which enables companies and stakeholders to support events held throughout the year including the Orange Pip Market, as well as the Mela, Middlesbrough Pride, Middlesbrough Art Week and the Taste of Africa carnival. In the event the council could not attract external help, there were fears it could have been forced to reduce in size or move it.

However, that was before Teesside-based Perco Foods, founded in Norton in 1996, stepped in. Matthew Baike-Ghazvini, director at Perco Foods, which supplies the food sector, said: “As a local company, we are pleased to partner with one of the top events in the region. It is an exciting opportunity for us to get involved with local independent businesses and also support community initiatives that bring people together.”