Leeds cancels Christmas market, other events due to budget pressure
Leeds has become the latest city to cancel its annual Christmas market citing “significant budget pressures”.
Major public events, including Bonfire Night celebrations, have been dropped in towns and cities across the UK as councils struggle to fund them amid rising costs and the need to prioritise essential services, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Leeds city council said its German Christmas market, which normally attracts a quarter of a million visitors to its Millennium Square each year, would not now run due to rising travel and work visa costs for its partners in Frankfurt council.
In a statement, Leeds council said: “Following the pandemic and combined with foreign travel work visa costs and complications, it was mutually agreed with our friends in Frankfurt that it was no longer feasible to bring the German market back to Leeds.”
The Leeds Christmas event is not the only one to be pulled this year. The organisers of the Glasgow Christmas market, which usually takes place across George Square and St Enoch Square, announced last month the event was cancelled with no explanation.
Last week, Angels Event Experience – which recently won the contract to run Edinburgh’s Christmas festival and also runs London’s Hyde Park Christmas market – pulled out, leaving the city scrambling to find another organiser.
It all reflects the tough times being faced this year as consumers rein-in spending, companies seek to control costs and organising bodies look at how feasible (and expensive) their festive events are.
London's famous Christmas lights on Oxford Street will operate for fewer hours this year, for instance, despite using more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
According to a City AM report, the major retail destination will lower its energy usage by two-thirds after the switch-on happens on 2 November. The display will use 300,000 recycled polymer LED lights saving 75% more energy than regular light bulbs and will be reused in future.
Oxford Street plans to celebrate Christmas in other ways, including donating 100 hampers of food, drinks and gifts “to those who need it most” and running three ‘Magic Days’ with exclusive offers for high street shoppers while launching a new campaign.
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