Council losing £266k to market cancellation

The City of Lincoln Council are over £266,000 out-of-pocket after Lincoln’s annual Christmas Market was cancelled earlier this month.

This year’s Christmas Market, which has run for 27 years, was cancelled due to severe snowfall making it dangerous for the public to attend the event.

The figure and impact of the cancellation were released in a report, which will be delivered to the council’s executive on January 4.

So far the City Council spent £82,000 on refunds and services, but they anticipate that the full expenditure loss will be around £266,197.

Out of this sum, some £60,000 would be lost on staff costs, £38,000 on consultancy and marketing, £17,000 on venue hire fees and almost £142,000 on contracts.

The Christmas Market would have made an approximate income of £515,100, with £107,000 just on Park and Ride fares, according to council estimates.

The budget for the Christmas Market this year was £492,000.

Leader of the City of Lincoln Council Darren Grice said: “After careful examination of the financial impact following the cancellation of the Lincoln Christmas Market, we now know that the loss to the City Council will be approximately £266,000.

“This includes expenditure on attempts to keep the market open—mainly snow clearance, the refunded stallholder and coach fees and a loss of expected income from sponsors.”


It also transpired that the council did not have event cancellation insurance, stating in the document that “each time a decision made not to purchase […] has been the right business decision for the last 27 years”.

Therefore, this could increase the risk of revenue loss if the event would be cancelled.

However, Councillor Grice stated that the council have a measure to cover loss of income.

He said: “This loss will be funded by the council’s reserves, an amount of money that is kept specifically for unexpected events like this.

“These reserves are like the council’s private insurance for unprecedented situations.

“The Christmas Market itself is not insured for cancellation as the premiums and costs involved with insuring an outdoor event in the middle of winter means insurance is not a viable option.

“Having experienced the first cancellation of our premium event, we are now looking into options for helping to insure individual stallholders, which would reduce the financial risk to the council for future events.”