August 15, 2019 9.34 am This story is over 28 months old

How much the Lincoln Christmas Market lost in 2018

The council has blamed increase in policing costs

The 2018 Lincoln Christmas Market made a loss of £82,380, which the City of Lincoln Council has put down to policing costs, low park and ride numbers and a freeze on stallholder prices.

City councillors will review the full financial report on the market at a performance scrutiny meeting on Thursday, August 22.

The authority had budgeted for a £13,210 surplus ahead of the 36th annual festive market.

But, the council lost £95,590 more than it had budgeted.

The authority blamed a drop in park and ride numbers on the opening of Lincoln Central car park and reduced coach bookings.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It added that a stallholder price freeze which was made as a “gesture of goodwill” also had an effect on market finances.

In 2017, the authority made a £53,750 loss. That year, the council was forced to cancel the final day of the event due to forecasted heavy snow.

  • 2010 – £266,000 loss (cancelled due to bad weather)
  • 2012 – £102,850 loss
  • 2013 – £83,000 loss
  • 2014 – £64,850 loss
  • 2015 – £60,811 loss
  • 2016 – £10,282 profit
  • 2017 – £53,750 loss (Last day cancelled due to weather warning)
  • 2018 – £82,380 loss

The city council estimated that last year’s Christmas Market, which was held between December 6 until December 9, was visited by around 230,000 people.

It added that the visitor spend was in the region of £14 million with an estimated economic value of £2.65 million to the city.

The 2018 event was also the first time the authority introduced new parking rules for the market.

The “no vehicle” policy prevented cars from coming near the inner market area and led to criticism from local business owners who described it as a “joke”.

Crowds gathered outside the Christmas tree at Lincoln Cathedral as part of the official market opening ceremony.

Paul Catlow, owner of The Castle Hotel on Westgate, said the timing of the rules had “cost his business dearly” in cancellations.

But, council officials said the measure had been a “success from an operational perspective”.

Simon Colburn, assistant director for health and environment said: “The Lincoln Christmas Market is about bringing people into Lincoln who will spend money in the city and have a huge impact on the tourism economy including returning as a visitor another time in the year.

“We’ve had to make several changes over the past couple of years to ensure that our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. This has included increased costs for policing, security and hostile vehicle mitigation.

“We froze our stallholder prices last year as a goodwill gesture, so this has also had an effect on this year’s final accounts.

“The council organises and fully funds the market, but ultimately our role is to put on an event that improves every year and brings 250,000 from all over the world into Lincoln to enjoy our fantastic city.”

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