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England’s oldest Christmas market cancelled because it was ‘so popular’ that it was a ‘safety risk’

One of the UK’s longest-running Christmas markets has been cancelled.

Lincoln Christmas Market will not be going ahead after a last minute motion to save it was rejected.

The market, which was first held in 1982, was axed earlier this year by the Labour-led council due to concerns about overcrowding.

City of Lincoln Council has replaced the event with a series of smaller offerings throughout the year.

Lincoln Christmas Market


However, residents and business owners said the new events lacked the “charm” of the event.

Rachel Whittaker, who runs a photography studio in the Uphill area, said: “It is so sad, people can’t believe it, they’re astonished.

“It’s bizarre. Other places would fall over themselves to have a December weekend where hundreds of thousands of people are walking around your city, eating, drinking, shopping, having a brilliant time – and spending their money.

“And we are saying we don’t want that? It makes no sense. This is the very thing that makes Lincoln so special at Christmas.”


A Christmas market

Lincoln Christmas Market


Claire Taylor, 55, who runs Top To Bottom Accessories in the central Steep Hill, said: “Footfall is declining in high streets everywhere. Local independent businesses have really struggled over the last few years. Now this is just another kick in the teeth.

“The decision to shut the market, which spread out across streets and squares around the city’s famed cathedral, was taken in February after officials said visitor numbers were ballooning beyond their control.”

A motion put forward by opposition councillors from the Conservative group calling for the market’s return was debated at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday.

Lincoln’s Conservative MP Karl McCartney said: ‘It’s absolutely outrageous, it is cultural and economic vandalism. ‘The financial pain this will inflict on local businesses and charities will be catastrophic. It is real-life nightmare before Christmas stuff.’

A christmas Market

The Christmas market was first held in 1982


In response, Ric Metcalfe, leader of the Labour-run authority, said: “We understand some people’s disappointment that Lincoln Christmas Market is no more.

“However, we simply could not continue delivering an event that has been deemed a significant risk to public safety,”

Options, including ticketing and spreading stalls out into more streets, were rejected.

Last year 320,000 people flocked to the market, generating an estimated £15million for the city’s economy.

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