Stokesley is gearing up to host the largest Christmas market to ever take place in the town.

A record number of stalls will be brimming with festive food and gifts that have all been grown, reared or produced by local independent businesses.

The event, on Sunday, December 18, is organised by Northern Dales Farmers Market with the support of the Stokesley Manorial Lands Trust.

Nigel Davison, market manager, said: “It’s the highlight of the year and this year it’s going to be bursting at the seams.

“We’ve got more stalls than ever before – 45 at the last count – making it the largest Christmas market ever to be held in the town.”

As well as offering shoppers a chance to buy locally produced food and drink the market is also raising money for the Cleveland Unit Child Development Centre at James Cook Hospital, which supports children up to the age of five who have special educational needs and disabilities.

One of its former pupils is Mali Williams-Cody, the little girl who melted hearts when she was filmed having a sign language conversation with Santa in the Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough.

Raffle tickets will be on sale at the market for a festive food hamper made up of items donated by the stall-holders. More than £150 has already been raised and all proceeds will be donated to the unit.

Nigel said: “When we heard the team at the Cleveland Unit needed help we were only too willing to do whatever we could, and we know our customers will feel the same.”

Jennie Kitchen, Cleveland Unit manager, said: “We are funded by the council and supported by hospital but rely heavily on charity funding for the lovely extras and fabulous experiences we like to give our children.

“Any donations, no matter how small, go a long way to helping us provide the extras that can make a real difference to the families that use the Cleveland Unit.

The market takes place on Sunday, December 18, from 9am to 2pm.