Harrogate Christmas Market has been cancelled for the second year in a row, it has now been confirmed.
Following careful consideration around health and safety concerns that still remain amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Harrogate Borough Council announced the decision in a statement via social media, reading: “After careful consideration, Harrogate Christmas Market will not be taking place on The Stray at Montpellier Hill this year.
“The event management plan (that we require for any event of this scale) did not fully take into account the risk of overcrowding and necessary evacuation procedures, counter-terrorism measures and the ongoing risk of Covid-19.
Adding: “As we have responsibility for the Stray, we need to be confident that any event will be managed effectively and not put an additional strain on the emergency services. Unfortunately, the success of the market has outgrown what can be safely delivered in this location.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but the health and safety of Harrogate district residents, traders and visitors must always come first.”
The council also confirmed that they’d be working on an alternative to the market to allow both locals and traders to celebrate the festivities, acknowledging that local businesses ‘rely on a Christmas market in Harrogate’.
Unsurprisingly, the decision has met with disappointment from both traders and locals, with the council forced to issue a follow up statement saying: “A number of people of asked; “Why haven’t we worked with the event organiser to allow it to continue?” I can assure you, we have. We have had ongoing conversations to encourage them to address the concerns over a number of years, and we recognise that progress has been made.
“However, significant concerns remain and as the event organiser isn’t willing to address these, then we simply cannot grant a license for this location.”
“For several years, including this year, we have suggested other locations to the event organiser but these have been refused. If they wish to continue these discussions then I advise they get in touch.”
It is currently unclear if other local councils will follow suit.
[Featured image: CC0 Public Domain]