The people of Middlesbrough are known for their hospitable spirit, and the place itself is no different. From fine dining, award-winning independent shops and fashion designers, to a thriving culture sector, Middlesbrough has a lot to offer.


Middlesbrough has a thriving retail sector encompassing independent traders and major high street and luxury brands. Retailers have the potential to attract circa 800,000 people, and the sector currently turns over more than £257 million per annum.

There are four large shopping centres encompassing 1.15m square metres, a fully pedestrianised retail core, and specialised shopping streets like Baker Street and Bedford Street, which are focused on Middlesbrough’s celebrated independent scene. All are centrally located and easily accessible by car and public transport, providing the highest quality shopping experience in the region.

The latest designer trends can be found at the three storey, award-winning designer department store Psyche and independent fashion storie, Triads.


Middlesbrough’s hospitality sector creates a powerful draw for all ages throughout the week. There’s an abundance of restaurants, bars, and clubs located in the city centre, with many opportunities for further development.

As with the retail sector, there’s a thriving independent hospitality offer encompassing bars, micro-pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Well-known brands including Lane 7 and Turtle Bay have also recognised the opportunities present in Middlesbrough, adding to the vibrancy of the food and beverage scene.

The Orange Pip street market has become something of a phenomenon across the North East. The mix of independent retailers, musicians and local artisan food and drink traders pitch up on Bedford Street and Baker Street each month to create a famously laid back atmosphere that attracts many visitors from across the Tees Valley and wider North East and Yorkshire region.


The world-renowned ‘useful art’ museum Mima, is in the heart of Middlesbrough, and the town’s heritage is displayed at the Dorman Museum and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.

Theatre, dance and music takes place at the much-loved Middlesbrough Theatre, and big names from the world of music and comedy flock to Middlesbrough Town Hall every year. The town hall is Grade II listed and is one of the town’s most-cherished and culturally important buildings. It opened in 1889 and features stunning Gothic architecture.

Consumer Powerhouse

Middlesbrough’s consumer sector is one of the best performing in the UK, ahead of nearby cities and those up and down the UK. In the 2018 UK Consumer Powerhouse report (Irwin Mitchell and Centre for Economics and Business Research), using a series of measures comparing the fortunes of more than 40 cities, Middlesbrough’s vibrant and diverse city centre economy stands out as one of the star performers. Read the full Consumer Powerhouse story.

City Centre Strategy

The City Centre Strategy for Middlesbrough is focused on enabling the growth of a balanced, sustainable, and vibrant economy. Retail plays a critical role in the function and appeal of the city centre, along with a diverse range of experiences to enhance vibrancy, and a well-considered offer to drive additional footfall by day and by night.

Download the City Centre Strategy 2019-2023