NEW Merchant Quarter Revival: Bakers, Makers and Shakers


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Saturday 14 September will be a busy day for Newcastle and NE1 Ltd., as a brand new event takes over the historic heart of the city the Bigg Market, Newcastle Cathedral and Newcastle Castle.


The new Merchant Quarter Revival: Bakers, Makers and Shakers will be a huge celebratory event held on Saturday 14 September to showcase some of the city’s bakers, independent clothing designers, vintage clothing retailers, vinyl stores and street-food vendors.  The event will be staged at the three heritage locations at the heart of Newcastle’s Merchants Quarter; Newcastle Cathedral, the Bigg Market and Newcastle Castle with a packed programme of stalls, events and activities at each site.  The event will start at 10am and will go on into the evening with many early evening activities at each of the venues.

As part of NE1’s £3.2 million pound transformation of the city’s historic Bigg Market, the team have joined forces with the Cathedral and the Castle for a combined celebration.  The aim is to bring together these three key locations and attract new audiences to the city’s historic heart to discover and enjoy the investment that has been made in the area.

The city’s historic quarter will be transformed into a bustling event on the day with more than 30 different vendors selling everything from food to clothing and vintage vinyl.  There will be stalls, activities and events including free entry and tours of the castle and the cathedral with unique opportunities to access areas of these historic venues not usually open to the public.  During the day, there will be free walking tours of the Merchant Quarter, touring the Bigg Market, the Cloth Market, Cathedral and Castle with expert guides providing information and stories about the area and its rich history.

At St Nicholas’ Cathedral on Mosley Street, Traidcraft, the ethical traders, will be hosting an event during the day  with craft stalls encircling the cathedral’s entrance.  The Cathedral is also offering members of the public the rare chance to climb the 162 steps of Newcastle’s Cathedral lantern tower to take in the breath-taking views of the city from the top and to hear fascinating stories along the way about the Cathedral’s history.

The cathedral tower tour is free to attend but pre-booking is essential.  To book, visit

(Minimum age 13; all children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

In the evening, world-renowned London Concertante will perform ‘Music from the Movies’ in the splendid surroundings of the Cathedral.  Tickets are available from £19.

At the Castle, entry will be free all day during the event with food stalls and street food vendors set up in and around the castle grounds. Performance artists including buskers and orators will also be performing in the grounds during the event.

In the evening, there will be the chance to buy tickets to watch the sunset from the Castle roof, which provides fantastic views and an exceptional vantage point to watch the sun set across the city.

Clothing and jewellery stalls will be located in the Cloth Market in a nod to history with the road closed to traffic to allow people to wander around the cobbled streets to enjoy the market.

In keeping with its name and its history, the Bigg Market, bigg being a type of barley, will be home to some of the city’s best bakers.  NE1 will also decorate the area with its signature, coloured seating providing welcome areas for people to sit and enjoy the market.

Alex Slack, Bigg Market Project Manager said:
“The Merchant Quarter Revival forms a key part of our on-going Bigg Market Project and aims to reinforce the links between these 3 key locations in Newcastle’s Historic Core.

We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with the Castle and Cathedral to bring a completely new and unique event to Newcastle City Centre. Bakers, Makers and Shakers will celebrate some of Newcastle’s finest independent businesses. On The Bigg Market there will be a baked goods market selling everything from Cakes to Croissants, The Cloth Market we will be paying homage to the origins of the area by hosting a Clothing Market interspersed with Record stalls while The Cathedral and Castle will have a mixture of street food vendors, artists and performers.

We have been really encouraged by the success of our Bigg Foodie Friday markets and feel this is an opportunity to build upon that momentum.

We are particularly excited to be expanding on to the Cloth market with the recent improvement works to Pumphreys, the fabulous Revolucion de Cuba and also the newly opened Market Shaker.

With Heritage Open Days also beginning that weekend It’s shaping up to be a great day in Newcastle.

Kate Sussams, Director of Operations for Newcastle Cathedral said;
"We are thrilled to be taking part in this incredible event together with some of the leading heritage organisations in the city. The medieval town of Newcastle grew up around the Castle, church of St Nicholas (now the city's Anglican Cathedral) and the market. It is entirely fitting and very exciting that the organisations looking after those vibrant spaces today are coming together to hold an event which helps bring people together in unity once more. Church, state and commerce were all driving factors in the establishment of Newcastle as a thriving medieval town and they are still crucial elements which help shape it's future."

Ben Smith Development Manager at Newcastle Castle said:
'Newcastle Castle is thrilled to be a key part of this exciting event. Working with NE1, The Bigg Market Project and The Cathedral in pulling together a range of activities and offerings has made this an amazing project to be a part of. With the stalls offering a range of traders, there's so much of what Newcastle does well here, and shows off the history of Old Newcastle and the real enchantment of areas like The Bigg Market and The Cathedral as well as Newcastle Castle itself. We're looking forward to playing a key part in the future of this area of Newcastle in conjunction with NE1 and Newcastle Cathedral. Drawing the event to a close with a stunning view of the sunset from Newcastle Castle's roof makes this event something really special and the day itself shows the community the way we all work so well together now and will do into the future.'

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