There will be no Bath Christmas Market this winter. Potential traders – who had registered for the annual festive attraction – were told the news yesterday.
The market – involving 150 chalets spread around the centre – was due to run from November 26th to 13th December.
Its cancellation will be a big loss of income – not only to those renting a chalet – but to the city as a whole. The local economy will not have the huge boost generated by the hundreds of coaches that normally bring people from elsewhere into Bath. The same goes for the extra numbers travelling by rail.
Kathryn Davis CEO of organisers Visit Bath said:
“It is disappointing that we cannot hold the Christmas Market this year, but I hope everyone will understand the reason for this decision and the early notice we are giving. We fully understand the value of the Bath Christmas Market to the city, but public safety and preventing the spread of Covid-19 has to come first.
“We are pro-actively working with partners across the city to create a Christmas event in Bath that will still support our local economy, but in a way that can be adapted as needed and disperses visitors across the city.
“So there will still be an exciting programme of events in the run-up to Christmas. Bath & North East Somerset Council, Visit Bath, Bath BID and Bath Festivals are all working together to create a four-week programme which will include dressing the city, music and entertainment, cultural events, street stalls and artisan food; all part of a Christmas celebration for residents and visitors alike and all delivered in a Covid-secure way.”
Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “A great deal of planning has to go into Bath Christmas Market and so a decision had to be taken now. We echo the sadness that the market is not happening this year but welcome the decision to put public health and people’s safety first.
Thanks need to go to everyone who makes it such a well-run and special festive feature. Our message is that Bath is still open, however, Christmas will look a little different this year so we can all enjoy it safely and we hope to be back to normal next year and celebrating the 20th Christmas market.”
This comes hot on the tail of the news of the closure of the city’s Tourist Information Centre. It’s reckoned it will take Bath three to four years to recover its usual tourist numbers.