News: Lincoln’s 2018 Christmas Market made a £82,380 loss for City Hall – here’s why

News: Lincoln’s 2018 Christmas Market made a £82,380 loss for City Hall – here’s why

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

The 2018 Lincoln Christmas market made a loss of £82,380 for the city council, it has been revealed.

The City of Lincoln Council has put the loss down to policing costs, low park and ride numbers and a freeze on stall-holder prices.

Overall, that figure is dwarfed by the £2.65 million economic value it had for the city.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Lincoln Christmas Market.
(Image: David Dawson)

Here are the figures for Christmas markets dating back to 2010:

  • 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”.

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”.

People come from all over the world to see it
(Image: David Dawson)

 

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 stall holder 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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