Council leaders in Boston hope to pick up the baton from the cancelled Lincoln Christmas Market

Boston could become a “hub town in Lincolnshire for Christmas celebrations” as council leaders look to nab stallholders from Lincoln’s cancelled festive market.
Boston's Market Place.Boston's Market Place.
Boston's Market Place.

Conversations began less than 24 hours after the announcement.

A new pilot event is being discussed which would lead to a series of connected events across the south and east of the county in future years.

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The authority faced a backlash last year after a lack of Christmas lights and a near £12,000 spend on an artificial tree in its new home in the Market Place.

During a meeting of the Full Council at Boston on Monday, Councillor Tom Ashton called Lincoln’s cancellation an “extraordinary” decision.

He said the town had a chance to “seize the dispossessed stall holders and potentially maybe thousands of visitors”.

Councillor Nigel Welton, the economic portfolio holder, said he had already started conversations at the authority within 24-hours of the cancellation announcement.

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“We have already started to look at the opportunity for Boston to become the hub town in Lincolnshire for Christmas celebrations,” he said.

“Our aim would be to build on the pilot each year and work towards complementary and connected events across the sub region with activity in the Lincolnshire Wolds, Coast and South Holland.”

He said the event could include different themed areas to attract a variety of stall holders.

It could work with locations such as St Botolph’s Church, The Guildhall, Blackfriars and Fydell House and partners organisations such as Boston College and Transported Arts.

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“It would be utilise different areas of the town to mitigate congestion and encourage footfall into retail and hospitality businesses,” he suggested, something Lincoln’s council had been unable to marry up with its own event.

Independent Councillor Richard Austin, who oversees the heritage portfolio, also backed the move.

“We hould all look forward to vibrant Christmas market that attracts a large number of visitors to Boston,” he said.

“Our Christmas Illuminate parade is already well established and Boston’s tradition for staging an exciting market with wide appeal goes back nearly 1000 years to 1125.”

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However, there were also several questions regarding the funding for last years lights, including questioning who was responsible and questioning footfall figures.

The council argues that footfall was increased by 12.8% compared to previous years, however, members of the public disagreed and said anecdotal evidence suggested visitors had been put off coming to the town.

The City of Lincoln Council announced it was cancelling its traditional Christmas Market following safety concerns, and using the £260,000 budget to replace it with a series of smaller events.

However, the decision has been met with fierce opposition as some have suggested more could be done to make the event safer.