Exeter Christmas market company ditched in favour of ‘new direction’

Exeter Cathedral has announced that there will be some big changes to this year’s Christmas market.

The events team at Exeter Cathedral is set to take over the running of the city’s popular Christmas market this year. And it will bring live music, more local traders and a change of layout.

The festive village which will have a new layout, will still have a continental feel but will also give more opportunities to support local businesses and performers.

The market will also introduce a new bandstand which will be set up in front of the Cathedral, which will see performances from local bands, carol singers and choirs, who will be able to bid for free slots to entertain traders and customers.

The market will open on the same night that Exeter’s Christmas lights get switched on which falls on November 16. It will then stay open until December 17.

For the previous five years, the Christmas Market has been run and managed on the Cathedral Green by Market Place Europe, who also run other markets across the UK.

Catherine Escott, Acting Administrator at the Cathedral, has thanked Marketplace Europe for making the Christmas Market in Exeter such a success.

She said: “Market Place Europe have done a great job in making Exeter Christmas Market such a feature part of Devon’s Christmas celebration, but after five years, we felt it was time to go in a different direction.

“We have studied the outstandingly successful Christmas market run by Winchester Cathedral and believe that by managing the market locally, we can offer not only a great occasion for Christmas shoppers and visitors to the region, but a better deal for local businesses too.

“We are really grateful for the support of Exeter City Council in this, and to the Exeter BID.”

image: http://www.tutevilla.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/26503835555-2.jpg

Councillor Rosie Denham, portfolio holder for Economy at Exeter City Council added: “I support the Cathedral’s decision. This could be a great opportunity to build on a much loved event and take it in a new direction. I think there is a chance to help our local businesses more plus increase the cultural offering. I wish them well and look forward to seeing all their plans put into action.”

The Market will be managed by the Events team at the Exeter Cathedral, which has been boosted by the return of former Cathedral Chorister Cressida Peers, who has also run events for St Paul’s Cathedral.

Last year the future of Exeter’s Christmas market hung in the balance following the devastation that the Royal Clarence Fire caused for the Cathedral Yard.

 

However Exeter City Council, Exeter Cathedral and operators of the market worked together to make sure the Christmas market went ahead.

Although given the extent of the damage caused by the fire, the layout of the market had to be reconsidered.

Managing Director of Market Place, Allan Hartwell said he hopes to hold a meeting with Exeter Cathedral to discuss future plans

He said: “Market Place has been contacted by the Catherine Escott, acting Administrator of Exeter Cathedral with regards to the Christmas Market 2017 and the Company has requested a meeting to discuss this year’s plans.”

Exeter Cathedral will also be offering local traders the chance to showcase their businesses at this year’s Christmas market and they can apply for a chalet via their website: http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/

[“Source-devonlive”] The plan to run the Market internally has been welcomed by Exeter City Council and the BID.