Newcastle City Council reached a mutual agreement with Mellors, the market organisers, to cancel the event for 2020. Mellors will resume its five-year contract to run the city centre market in 2021.
The Nottingham-based Mellors Group took over the running of Newcastle’s Christmas market in 2019, making it the city's biggest ever by extending festive food markets and fairground rides along Blackett Street and Northumberland Street.
However, despite its success, the market was criticised for bringing in outside competition for local businesses, including Grainger Market traders, and cutting off bus routes through the city centre.
There had been plans for a huge two-storey bar which would have surrounded Grey’s Monument, but this will not be happening in wake of the pandemic.
The council has pledged that the city centre will still have a festive feel this winter and plans are to be drawn up in the coming weeks to find “something appropriate” as an alternative.
It is understood there will still be Christmas lights, and Fenwick has already revealed its traditional Christmas window display.
The council is also exploring how a smaller Christmas market involving local traders could operate, whilst adhering to social distancing measures.
One of the possibilities would be to have the market function virtually, however it is still unknown whether this is the path the council will choose when it comes to this year’s festivities.
Councillor Ged Bell, the council’s cabinet member for employment and culture said: “We are also committed to help rebuild confidence and ensure the city thrives once again by harnessing the unique community spirit that exists here and creating a safe and welcoming environment”.
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