Lincoln Christmas market cancellation prompts refunds

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Lincoln Christmas Market
Image caption,
The market attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city

Stallholders who lost out when Lincoln's popular Christmas market was cancelled due to the severe weather are to receive refunds on their pitches.

The city council took the "hard but necessary" decision to abandon the event for safety reasons.

More than 250 traders, who paid between £450 and £5,465, will either get their money back or a free plot next year.

The market regularly attracts more than 150,000 people and raises millions for the city's economy.

The four-day event was due to begin on Thursday 2 December, but was cancelled on the Wednesday, following a meeting of the market's safety advisory group - made up of representatives from organisations including the emergency services.

Heavy snow on the Tuesday night and a poor forecast for the subsequent few days were likely to make footpaths and roads unsafe for visitors, said Lincoln City Council.

Free parking

More than 10,000 cars and 600 coaches were expected to arrive for the market.

Council leader Darren Grice said: "We sympathise deeply with stallholders and businesses, to whom the cancellation comes as a real financial blow.

"The council continues to invest in the market for the very reason that it brings so much economic benefit to the city, both during the event and with the return visitor.

"Our initial priority was to safely clear the market and return the area to its usual state.

"Having had the chance to look at the finances, we have set out a range of measures that, hopefully, will go some way to softening the blow for stallholders and local businesses.

"We believe that offering a full refund is the right thing to do."

To help affected traders, the council is also offering free parking for visitors in several parts of the city this weekend.

In addition, stallholders and Bailgate businesses will be given the opportunity to advertise for free on the Lincoln Christmas Market website.

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