Lincoln Christmas Market made £61k loss in 2015

The 2015 Lincoln Christmas Market made a £60,811 loss according to the latest financial report, but it’s less than last year.

City of Lincoln councillors are to consider the full account of the market’s financial position at a meeting this week.

The annual event, which was last year attended by 250,000 people, has slowly improved its financial portfolio over the last five years:

The delivery of the market made an operational surplus of £52,000, but was down on the budgeted target of £65,000 surplus by just over £13,000.

The details of the market's financial performance have been outlined in a City of Lincoln Council report.

The details of the market’s financial performance have been outlined in a City of Lincoln Council report.

Additional costs

In addition to the operational income and expenditure on the market, the event is also subject to corporate central support charges (CSS) which cover staffing by other teams for provision of services, food health and safety and licensing charges.

The total CSS bill for 2015 was £112,631 – a £26,501 increase on the previous year.

This brings the total deficit to £60,811.

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Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Lincoln Christmas Market has been delivered for over 30 years in the grounds of Lincoln Castle and the surrounding streets.

The city council estimates the total visitor spend in the region as £14 million in 2015 – an estimated economic value of £2.65 million.

A survey by the University of Lincoln notes in the report that the average visitor spend at the market has increased from £53 in 2014 to £57.

There were 198 stalls at the 2015 market, with stallholders paying 8% more for their pitch than in the previous year – generating an income of £395,850.

John Latham, Director of Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council, said: “Lincoln Christmas Market is a hugely significant event in the city’s calendar, bringing in around £14 million to the local economy and putting Lincoln on the map.

“Up to 250,000 visitors attended during the four days, and previous surveys have shown many of them are likely to return throughout the year.

“Given the sizeable benefits the market brings to Lincoln’s economy and reputation, we feel the cost of running the event is excellent value for money and a worthwhile investment.

“Although our purpose isn’t to make a profit, we are pleased to have reduced the cost to the council considerably over the last two years and continue to look for ways to further reduce this, without compromising on quality and the ability to provide an enjoyable and safe event for all our visitors.”

The financial report by the city council’s principal events and culture officer Claire McDowall notes that the corporate contracts (stewarding, electrical, first aid etc.) are up for renewal in 2016, and procurement exercises are ongoing.