A POPULAR UK Christmas market has been scrapped after just two years because the council failed to organise a replacement event in time.
Brighton’s Christmas market has thronged with revellers over the last two years but this December the event will not take place.
The city’s Christmas market has been organised by a private events company over the last two years.
But the firm was forced to end it’s three year deal 12 months earlier, due to Covid, rising costs and supply chain problems.
Brighton and Hove City Council then faced a race against time to find a commercial partner able to chip in around £70,000.
Now town hall bosses have admitted they have run out of time and the market will not take place this year.
Many locals appear to have welcomed the decision. One local resident said on Twitter: “It’s a good decision…the last few years have been embarrassing. Disappointing to say the least…back stronger next year please.”
But others expressed dismay. A local man said: Contrary to some people’s opinion I actually enjoyed it last year and went a few times to the market. The food was a highlight for me.
“Of course no surprise that the council messed up and we are getting absolutely nothing this year, which for a city of our size is ridiculous, Christmas won’t feel quite as festive this year it seems.”
Lead councillor for tourism and culture Alan Robins said: “Organising a Christmas Market for the city was always dependent on finding a new commercial partner to help us to fund and co-ordinate the event.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to find a partner willing to commit to the project for a single year.
“Given the enormous funding crisis the council is facing, we cannot commit to spending the £70,000 needed to stage an event.”
Cllr Robins said that although there would be “disappointment” this year the event would hopefully return soon.
He added: “We wanted to create a different kind of Christmas Market this year because in the two years it was staged it was never actually all that popular with the public, and was also expensive for traders who wanted a pitch there.
“We received a fantastic response from community groups, artists and makers in the city keen to be involved in a Christmas event – and we appreciate they will be disappointed.
“However, we will keep in touch and look forward to involving them in future Christmas events in the city.”
Conservative Party leader on Brighton and Hove City Council Alistair McNair hit out.
He said: “Frankly, it is shocking that a tourist town of Brighton and Hove’s renown and importance will not have a Christmas market.
“It has been a tough year and residents will be bitterly disappointed.
“Christmas markets are a real delight, especially for children and families.
“Last year’s market in Valley Gardens was a disappointment, not a patch on any Christmas market towns and cities up and down the country put on year after year.
“I thought Labour’s focus was on rebuilding Brighton’s brand after the Greens left the city’s reputation in tatters – known more for its graffiti and sky-high parking charges than its abundance of shopping and cultural amenities.
“You have to ask yourself how seriously Labour is actually taking the importance of the necessary brand rebuild.
“First, they wanted to charge Remembrance Sunday volunteers for their parking, now they can’t organise a Christmas market.
“Now is the time to start organising next Christmas, so hopefully this won’t happen again.”
There are now several Christmas markets in Europe that Brits can reach on a ferry, leaving plenty of room to stock up on festive treats.
Every year, the French city of Rennes in Brittany hosts a maze of festive Christmas markets.
The French city is home to several Christmas markets, including the creator’s market.
Set in Place Hoche, the Christmas market is housed underneath a heated marquee where more than 50 artisans sell handmade gifts.
Another Christmas market takes place at the heart of the city’s historic centre in Place des Lices Square.