The 2013 Lincoln Christmas Market has made a loss of £83,000 and now the City of Lincoln Council is looking to increase stall prices by 12%.
Last year’s market was expected to make an overall loss of £15,500 but a further £67,489 loss was incurred, all of which will come out of the council’s budget.
The festive city market made a loss of £102,850 in December 2012.
The market also made a loss of £113,000 in 2011, after a £266,000 loss when the market was cancelled in 2010 due to bad weather.
The city council say that the extra losses in December 2013 were caused by a fall in stall income and coach bookings.
There were fewer stalls than in previous years due to ongoing restoration works at Lincoln Castle.
The council has reported that a consistent decline in the number of traders present each year at the event was also a factor.
They predict a further decrease in the number of stalls present at the 2014 event.
Alongside the proposed 12% rise in stall fees, a freeze in the Park and Ride fees and charges have been tabled for discussion.
The council estimates and income of £476,000 for the 2014 event, against a budget of £554,000 – still leaving a shortfall of £78,000.
Cllr Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Policy Planning and Economic Regeneration, said: “The Christmas Market is a great event for Lincoln and it is money well spent.
“It showcases our fantastic city and all it has to offer. We have to run the market efficiently for council tax payers as it is not fair on them to have to subsidise it.
“The recommendation being considered on Monday is to get the council closer to a cost recovery position for the event than it has been in recent years.
“Our experience shows there is a huge demand for stalls at the market.
“We know there are a wide range of opinions on what the market should look like, the type of stalls it should have and the range of products on offer.
“We want the market to remain as an event that people are proud of, want to go to and want to encourage their family and friends to visit.
“We review the market on an annual basis to ensure we are providing our visitors with the very best experience possible and work in partnership with businesses, traders and residents and take on board all comments received.”
Following the 2012 market, the University of Lincoln completed an economic impact assessment which estimated that, based on 300,000 visitors to the market, the total visitor spend is around £12 million.
A business survey carried out as part of this suggested the value of turnover generated during the four days of the Christmas market is, on average, 26 per cent greater than other weeks in the Christmas period.