Traders in Bath city centre have been dealt another blow with the cancellation of this year‘s Christmas Market.
Following advice from Public Health on the Covid-19 pandemic, organiser Visit Bath has decided not to go ahead with the popular festive attraction, although plans for a scaled-down ‘Christmas in Bath’ event are being considered.
The Christmas Market brings hundreds of thousands of visitors into Bath city centre during November and December, spending millions at the market and in local businesses.
Statistics from the 2018 event showed:
- Over 400,000 people attended Bath Christmas Market over the 18-day period.
- The direct spend at Bath Christmas Market in 2018 was over £7 million.
- The total associated spend in the Market and across the city was over £30 million.
- More than £10,000 was raised for local charities.
With the city still reeling from the effects of lockdown, the loss of revenue generated by Bath Rugby home games and the absence of student spending, the news is a significant setback in Bath’s recovery.
Kathryn Davis, Chief Executive of 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.”
According to the statement from Visit Bath, 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.”