Christmas Market fees freeze for returning traders

Returning traders to this year’s Lincoln Christmas Market could see a price freeze for their stalls under recommendations by the City of Lincoln Council.

City councillors will vote on the new fees for stallholders at a full council meeting tomorrow which would see 2017 traders price frozen and an increase of 8% for newcomers.

Park and ride and coach fees would also be frozen at last year’s prices under the proposals.

The recommendations come after the city council had to close the final day of the Christmas Market in a move which they say had an impact on costs of around £56,000.

This means that the basic rate for a stall in the castle grounds this Christmas would be increased from £1,814 to £1,959 for new stallholders.

The first day of the 2017 market brought thousands to the Cathedral Quarter. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The cheapest stall price would be in The Lawn area where new traders looking for a basic 3×3 stall would be charged £1,469, an increase of £109 on last year.

The council estimates that the recommended price freeze and increase for new stallholders would generate around £417,000 with a total income of £605,000 when including other costs.

Recommendations for a price freeze come after the council closed the Sunday of last year’s market due to expected heavy snowfall.

Closing the market on the final day saw a total increased expenditure of £56,180, according to a council report.

Simon Walters, Assistant Director Health and Environment Services said that the additional amount was unexpected.

He said: “Last year’s Lincoln Christmas Market was unprecedented in that we had to spend an additional amount on continuing to ensure our visitors had an enjoyable and safe experience.

“In light of incidents that had happened at large-scale events throughout Europe over the previous year, we took the decision to increase the security arrangements.

“The safety of our visitors is of utmost importance to us, and if we have to increase our security at the Lincoln Christmas Market to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable event, then we do so without hesitation.

“This extra cost, which has been seen in an increase in overall policing and vehicle security barriers has therefore translated into an operational loss for the council.

“The Lincoln Christmas Market is a much-loved event, and the  losses incurred in 2017 will not have an effect on the event in the coming years. Indeed we are already well advanced in planning for an even bigger and better market in 2018.”