March 17, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

First hints on events to replace Lincoln Christmas Market

Starting from Halloween onwards

A council report has given hints around what residents can expect to replace the cancelled 40-year-old Lincoln Christmas Market.

However, City of Lincoln Council officers have also admitted some events will be organised before “challenging” consultations, which began this week, are finished.

Council leaders are looking to hold a smaller number of events across a six weeks Christmas period and at other times of the year.

Officers said they wanted to replace the £2m spend and 320k visitors for the local economy, but more evenly spread over the whole year.

However, they said: “The main emphasis in 2023 will be from Halloween onwards, with a particular focus on Christmas 2023.

“It is envisaged there will be some activity booked to animate the city centre over the summer school holidays, but this will be built on for the 2024 full programme of activity as the lead-in period for next year’s calendar of events in much longer.”

The report said events would remain “predominantly free” but could “include paid for events to build future… sustainability”.

The events would be focused in the city centre and Uphill areas and would maximise the use of events spaces in a bid to encourage footfall and spend across both.

“The programme will build on, and seek to enhance, the existing events programme delivered by partners… and ideally give partners the confidence to also commit to additional content,” added the report.

It said that initially the events would “be a more intimate offer for residents in the city and surrounding areas”.

However, they said the new arrangement would attract visitors across the whole year and increase social media exposure. It would also result in “fewer capacity issues”.

The report outlined a series of consultation and procurement exercises to take place between March and June, with 2023’s programme aiming to have taken final bookings by then so officers can begin on 2024 events.

The City of Lincoln Council this week launched its first survey on what residents would like to see in place of the 40-year-old event.

It previously faced a backlash after making the decision with no consultation. Leaders have said they had no option due to being unable to find a safe and cost effective way forward.

However, the report said: “It should be noted that the time-scales are challenging in terms of undertaking a full and comprehensive consultation exercise alongside ensuring officers are able to book activity for 2023.

“There is an element of compromise required, with some event activity having to be booked soon to secure them, ahead of finalising the full programme.”

The report also re-confirms the councils decision to cancel the popular Christmas Market event.

“This programme will not replicate a full Christmas market attracting visitors from across the region. The city council have stepped away from organising/coordinating such large-scale activity.”

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