Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Christmas market: Traders 'will suffer' if revamp goes ahead

Albert Sayers
Image caption Albert Sayers, who has traded in the city for more than 20 years, said the consultation had come "to late"

Local businesses will "suffer" if plans to increase the size of a city's Christmas market go ahead, traders have said.

Mellors Group Events wants to increase the number of stalls at Newcastle's festive market from 60 to 100 and for it to run for an extra week.

Street and Grainger Market traders also said a consultation was "too late".

Newcastle City Council is inviting people to have their say at a meeting on Tuesday.

Albert Sayers, who runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Northumberland Street, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "Our business has suffered before and there is no reason to think it will not suffer again this year."

He added: "The consultation should have been done a lot earlier. Whatever our views are now - that the market will encroach on our businesses - don't really matter. The die is cast, the deal is done."

Image caption The council wants the market to run for five weeks - an extra week

Ian Clarkin, who runs a food and drink shop in Grainger Street, said: "The Christmas market has a bottleneck effect on the city centre and it puts a lot of people off coming."

Nottingham-based Mellors Group Events is taking over the running of the festive market for the next five years.

Director Edward Mellors said the firm aimed to "enhance" the Christmas offering "for the benefit of all" and would "listen to what people have to say" at Tuesday's meeting.

If plans are approved, it will run from from mid-November until Christmas and also include fairground rides and a toboggan run.

A council spokesman said it wanted traders to be aware they had an "important role to play" in realising Newcastle's ambitions for Christmas.

It added a consultation on the proposals would run until "at least" 27 September.

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