- Market won’t be downscaled for locals due to problems like safety hazards
- Rescheduling not possible due to 3rd party services bookings
- £10million for the local economy lost
- 150,000 visitors were expected at the market
- 250 stallhoders were booked for the market
- 50-60 stallholders were already in Lincoln
- Stand refunds status is unknown
- Council claims cancellation won’t affect market’s reputation
- Safety hazard mentioned was snow on electric cables
11.26am — The City of Lincoln Council confirmed that the 2010 Lincoln Christmas Market will be cancelled due to severe weather conditions.
“This is obviously a decision that has not be taken lightly and is with deep regret,” said a City Council spokesperson.
This is the first time the market has been closed due to heavy snowfall in 28 years.
The market, which was set to take place December 2 to 5, is said to generate around £10million for the local economy every year.
Rob Bradley from the City Council is in charge of safety at the event and said: “It is with extreme regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the Lincoln Christmas Market this year.
“It has taken extreme weather conditions to do this, the first time it’s happened in the history of the market. Safety is our absolute priority at the Lincoln Christmas Market.
“Police advice is for people not to travel at all unless it is absolutely necessary, so we don’t want to encourage visitors and stallholders to travel to come along and risk getting stuck on the roads, or worse.
“The decision to cancel the event was a unanimous decision of all partners on the market’s safety advisory group.
“We work with many other organisations to stage this event, including the police, fire and ambulance services and county highways.
“All of these organisations are working flat-out to deal with the severe weather conditions already.
“With more snow predicted for the coming days, we have taken this decision as early as possible, so people can rearrange their plans.
“I apologise to all those visitors and stallholders who are disappointed, but with the weather as it is, there wasn’t another option,” Bradley added.
Councillor Darren Grice, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: “Obviously, we’re incredibly sad to have to cancel the Christmas Market for the first time.
“The event is extremely popular, and attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond.
“However, the safety of our local residents, visitors, stallholders and staff is the most important thing, and we don’t want to put people at risk,” Grice added.
Chief Inspector Kieron English said: “Our overriding concern is public safety, and due to the atrocious conditions over the last couple of days and potentially over the next couple of days, we can’t guarantee that safety.”
1.56pm — When asked why the annual market would not be rescheduled to a later date, organisers explained that due to the numerous calendar commitments required by an event of this scale, it was not feasible.
Ensuring the availability of additional police, paramedics and stewarding staff requires a lot of planning, and is not something that can be done easily, they claim.
2.35pm — The Lincoln MP Karl McCartney was disappointed at the news and tweeted: “Despite many working incredibly hard to keep Lincoln roads open, very disappointing news that Lincoln Christmas Market has been cancelled.”
Lincoln still ‘open for business’
3.15pm — Lincoln BIG Chief Exec Matt Corrigan said anyone still planning to visit Lincoln, and local people too, would still find shopping and great attractions on offer.
“We work closely with a tremendous number of organisations across the city and we know that our businesses are terribly disappointed that the crowd-pulling market has been called off, even though we know the reasons why,” said Corrigan.
“But I want to remind everyone that there so much to still enjoy in Lincoln over the festive and New Year period. We hope people will turn out in force, enjoy our wonderful Christmas lights, make the most of our niche shopping and pick-up some great food and gifts from our farmers and craft markets.
“People can enjoy the special ambience of late night shopping every Thursday in the run-up to Christmas and lots of families, friends and business parties are looking forward to having a great time on the Lincoln BIG Ice Rink, which features a ‘real ice’ experience from now right through until January 2,” Corrigan added.
Bailgate Area Guild chairman Mark Hollingworth added: “One-third of the traders involved in the overall Christmas Market are here all year round, in the form of the independent niche businesses which are based in the Bailgate and Steep Hill areas.
“We are inviting people to enjoy late night shopping in our area on December 9 and 16, when Lincoln BIG will be helping us to create a real festive feel in the area.”
— Additional reporting and photos from Chris Brandrick