— Later update with statement from the City of Lincoln Council*
Merchants who paid up to £3,000 for a stand at the Lincoln Christmas Market are angry after the shock cancellation of the event, which was due December 2 to 5.
This is the first time the market has been closed in 28 years, following continued heavy snowfall in the city and safety warnings from emergency services.
It is estimated the city will lose out on around £10million the market would have pumped into local economy in just three days.
The market was expecting around 100,000 visitors and had 250 stalls booked, and around 60 stallholders were in the city already at cancellation time.
“As a small farmer who was relying on this event for our family Christmas, and having made a great deal of stock to sell, I am devastated,” said one stallholder.
Another stallholder said: “We were meant to be trading at the market as usual.
“It has taken our family three months to make all our handcrafted items and we have spent over £2,000 on materials.”
One stallholder commented: “We usually sell German Bratwurst in the Castle, so are really disappointed that the market was cancelled at such short notice.
“Wish they had made this decision earlier in the week before we took delivery this morning. What are we supposed to do with over 700 packets of Bratwurst?
“Hope we can at least have a refund as it took a long time to raise over £2,000 for our pitch. Just feels like a nightmare at the moment.
“Our trailer is already in the castle grounds and will have to stay there now until the snow clears,” the disgruntled stallholder added.
“Absolutely gutted about the market being cancelled. Like everyone else, we have lots of stock that needs to be sold and costs that need to be covered,” one vented.
Another seller said: “I have loads of stock that needs to be shifted, not the mention the costs incurred for new displays and to kit the team out in Victorian costumes.”
Local business are also mourning the Christmas Market: “I have a business in the Bailgate and the cancellation of the market will affect my profit directly.”
*The City of Lincoln Counil addressed traders’ concerns saying: “As soon as the decision was made yesterday by the council, police and other partners we moved quickly to inform all stall holders of the decision.
“All stall holders were emailed within 30 minutes of the decision being made and we informed all media as soon as was possible so that the message got far and wide as quickly as possible.
“We are sorry that this decision has had to be made and we sympathise with everyone who benefits from the market at the disruption caused, particularly local businesses and stall holders.
“Our main priority now is to ensure that the site is cleared safely and that we continue to get the message out so that visitors know the market is cancelled.
“We will meet early next week to discuss the next steps and will update stall holders soon after.
“However, if any stallholder has an urgent enquiry they can call us on 01522 538282 or email email@example.com.”
An alternative Christmas market will be taking place this weekend, organised by The Healthy Hub in Lincoln.