The organisers of the 30thand final Durham Shopping Extravaganza are hopeful of going out on a half million pound high.

Run by a committee of volunteers assisted by supporters and charity helpers, the two-day annual event held this week is to be the last.

All of the profits raised go to local charities, of which the principal causes this year are Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS), the North East Autism Society, Grace House in Sunderland and three local branches of PHAB in Durham, Seaham and Stockton & Billingham.

Co-chair of the DSE Nicky Swan said: “We are delighted with the number of shoppers who have supported our 30thand final DSE. They have paid entry fees, bought raffle and tombola tickets and shopped in superb style, making an enormous contribution to the totals which our generous stallholders donate from their profits. We hope everyone has had a wonderful two days.

“Although we won’t know the final total raised for a little while, the signs are that we are closing in on half a million pounds raised over the last 30 years, all of which has remained in and around County Durham. It is a phenomenal achievement and it will be a great pleasure in the coming weeks to hand over the final donations to the amazing charities that are due to benefit this year.

“We must say an enormous thank you to our committee, volunteers, St John Ambulance and our stallholders and sponsors, without whom the DSE could not have continued as long as it has. It has been a huge privilege to work with such dedicated people and it means that we are going out on a huge high.”

In recognition of her dedication for almost 30 years, stallholder Marguerite Todd, who travels from Cornwall each year, was presented with a gift.

The donors and sponsors who supported the event were BHP Law, Lycetts, Brewin Dolphin, Fred Henderson MG and Parklane Plowden Chambers.