Christmas 2021 plans in Newcastle are hanging in the balance – however council bosses say it’s too quickly to know whether or not the metropolis centre’s festive market shall be cancelled once more this 12 months.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that the market stalls, fairground rides, and bars that often cowl the metropolis centre at Christmas time have been axed final 12 months.
No resolution has been made but on whether or not the travelling market, run by Nottingham-based Mellors Group since 2019, will be capable to return this winter as a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the public well being disaster – however the state of affairs is underneath evaluation.
While a Newcastle City Council doc states that there shall be a spotlight on stallholders at the widespread Grainger Market and Quayside Market “as our Christmas offer” this 12 months, the authority says it has not made any closing plans.
The report, from council director of place Michelle Percy, provides that officers are “reviewing how we deliver Christmas in the future, with a focus on Grainger Market and Quayside Market as our baseline, taking into account Public Health advice”.
A council spokesperson mentioned: “We nonetheless face extraordinarily unsure occasions as a result of the pandemic, and though we hope this 12 months shall be extra optimistic for the metropolis it’s nonetheless too early to start out making particular plans for Christmas.
“Last 12 months, we introduced in the summer time the cancellation of the Christmas market, and that proved to be the proper resolution. We proceed to watch public well being knowledge and comply with the authorities’s steerage earlier than making any plans.
“Christmas is essential for the metropolis, particularly for all of our merchants and retailers, and we’re dedicated to doing all that we will to offer a suggestion that residents can take pleasure in, and which permits companies to prosper.
“We are blessed with the much-loved Grainger and Quayside markets, each of which performed essential roles in Christmas 2020, and no matter occurs we all know they are going to once more this 12 months.”
Mellors’ first Christmas market in Newcastle in 2019 was the metropolis’s greatest ever, with festive meals stalls and fairground rides prolonged from their common spot round Grey’s Monument alongside the size of Blackett Street and Northumberland Street.
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The firm, which signed a five-year take care of the council to run the Christmas markets, additionally had plans final 12 months for a two-storey bar surrounding the monument.
However, the bigger market proved unpopular with many native merchants, together with these in the Grainger Market, who’ve complained that it takes much-needed enterprise away from them at a vital time of 12 months.
As properly as the Christmas market cancellation, considerations over crowds gathering and spreading Covid meant that the reveal of the beloved Fenwick’s window was finished on-line final 12 months and there was no Christmas lights switch-on ceremony.