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Harrogate Christmas Market called off for second year

Rob Thompson

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Harrogate Christmas Market called off for second year.

Source - BBC News

Date - 31-07-2021


Harrogate's Christmas Market will not go ahead this year due to health and safety fears, the second time the event has not taken place in as many years.

The four-day market, normally held on The Stray in mid-November, can attract about 80,000 visitors to the town.

Last year's cancellation due to Covid may have cost the town's economy an estimated £2.7m, according to a study.

The decision not to grant a licence for this year's event was "not easy", Harrogate Borough Council said.

In a statement, the council said the health and safety of traders and visitors to the Christmas Market must come first.

It said the event management plan "did not fully take into account" the risk of overcrowding, evacuation procedures, counter-terrorism measures and the ongoing risk of Covid.

"Unfortunately the success of the market has outgrown what can be safely delivered in this location", the statement added.

Richard Cooper, Harrogate Borough Council leader, said: "The decision is made to protect people's lives on the basis of what the emergency services tell us.

"We simply cannot grant a licence for this location," he said.

Brian Dunsby, who helps to organise the market with about 40 volunteers, said he was "absolutely disappointed to put it mildly".

"We have 170 traders coming, 53 coaches and a lots of contractors already booked."

Mr Dunsby said organisers were going to formally appeal against the decision after having been sent a letter on Thursday confirming the move.

"Support for the market is pouring in. The decision is not good at all. The town centre traders will be very upset," he said.

Harrogate Borough Council said the town's traders "welcome and rely on a Christmas market" and it was "working hard to ensure alternative Christmas festivities take place".

The council added that feedback was taken from the police and fire service and other suggested locations for the event had been refused by organisers.

The financial loss study on the impact of last year's cancellation was based on how much each visitor would spend on food, drink and gifts during the event.

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7 hours ago, Santa Johnny Boy said:

Hope this is not starting a trend...

I find it a bit of a concern as there isn't any consistency what so ever. We've only just had the Euro 2020 Football finals with hundreds of thousands of people mingling in the stadiums, no rhyme or reason to this :( 

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