A “double whammy” of Brexit and Covid, which has led to a national shortage of logistics and security staff, means this year’s expected – and extended – Christmas Market has had to be cancelled.
The move follows concerns that the national recruitment crisis for security and specialist staff and equipment makes it impossible to run the Bath Christmas Market, which is one of the largest in the country, safely, securely and within reasonable cost.
Instead B&NES is offering a ‘re-shaped’ Christmas programme which will now include:
- A number of festive stalls in Kingston Parade and Abbey Green with priority given to local traders
- The independent Bath artisan market in Queen Square
- Traditional Christmas celebrations around the Abbey Quarter
- An illumination trail of the iconic and historic buildings of Bath
- A Victorian carousel ride outside of the Roman Baths
- Street entertainment and carol singing
To add to the festive spirit there will be stalls serving traditional Christmas food and drink and a festive light parade.
In addition a virtual Bath Christmas Market will be launched online to give all stallholders who were offered a place, the opportunity to sell their goods and give more people a taste of Bath’s Christmas magic.
Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, said: “I hope these plans will be welcomed by all who love Bath and who love Christmas. We have reshaped our Bath at Christmas programme to attract residents and visitors and we hope as many as possible will be able to enjoy this festive programme of events in our beautiful city.
“We cannot get around the harsh reality that the supply chain at the moment has been hit by a double whammy of Brexit and Covid which is affecting the logistics and security industries very hard. We understand in particular that the market for security staff has been hugely depleted as a result of staff finding jobs in other sectors. So, we have reshaped our plans to focus our festivities on attracting residents and visitors in a sustainable way.”
“Given the exceptional circumstances we are in, my concern is to ensure our wonderful city can celebrate Christmas safely. This reshaped programme allows us to create a wonderful environment for families and people of all ages and an event that businesses can benefit from after such a difficult year.”