The City of Lincoln Council is planning a major comeback of the Christmas Market this year, following last year’s event cancellation due to severe weather.
Last year stallholders were offered a full refund of their fees, or the chance to take up a stall at the 2011 event for no extra fee.
So far 131 businesses, out of the 264 that had planned to attend the 2010 event took the offer up, meaning the market is already half booked.
On top of that, an additional 100 business expressed their interest to attend.
One option is to have the market for a longer period, but on a slightly smaller scale, meaning the market could still go ahead even with prolonged bad weather.
John Latham, Director of Development and Environmental Services at the City of Lincoln Council said he is delighted with the take up of stalls so far:
“After the cancellation, we offered stallholders a full refund or the chance to take up a stall at the 2011 market with 2010 prices.
“Confidence in the market is obviously high as half of the stallholders from last year have opted for a stall at this year’s event.
“We wouldn’t usually be in this position for another couple of months, so we’ve already got a running start,” Latham explained.
“Add to that the fact that we’ve had 100 further expressions of interest, it proves that the Lincoln Christmas Market is a healthy event where businesses are keen to trade.”
Higher stall prices
Fees for stallholders who didn’t take up the council’s offer or pre-booking stalls are set to rise, subject to Full Council approval on April 19.
The average increase per stall would be of £40, in line with the Retail Price Index at 4.2%.
“As we do every year, we have considered the fees and charges at the Lincoln Christmas Market, to make sure it’s a good opportunity for businesses to trade, and is also good value for Lincoln,” Latham said.
“We are mindful to make sure that it’s the people who benefit most financially from the market—the stallholders—who contribute the most to stage the event, rather than passing those costs on to local people.
“The financial losses to the council from cancelling last year’s event [£266,000] were absorbed entirely by our own reserves, set aside for such unpredicted events.
“We were therefore able to put forward reasonable fees for stallholders attending the 2011 Christmas Market and look forward to welcoming traders from across the country and, indeed, the world.”