Leicester’s next Christmas Market will be better than the last one, council bosses have promised.
Many traders and shoppers said they were left underwhelmed by the market in December which Leicester City Council moved to the new square behind the city’s Corn Exchange.
Some stallholders said they did not make enough money to cover the cost of renting a chalet, arguing the location was too tucked away.
However the council has said it intends to persevere with the venue.
It has already started organising this year’s event.
It will start earlier, on December 1, in the hope that top quality traders will sign up before committing to other Christmas events in the city.
The council says there will be a strong focus on high quality gifts, crafts and decorations.
It will also run later, until Christmas Eve, and will have 45 chalets as opposed to the 30 from last year.
Five chalets will offer hot food and snacks, while mulled wine and hot drinks will be available from the Christmas Market’s licensed bar.
One of the complaints about the market’s setting was that it was under the eyesore rear of the Corn Exchange – a tangle of pigeon infested ducts and fire escapes – exposed when the old market hall was flattened.
The council say by the time the market commences a screen, costing between £1.8 million and £2 million, will be in place to cover it up and could be used to project festive and Alpine scenes onto.
The council also hopes to have completed the demolition of a property it bought on Horsefair Street opening up the square from that side.
Markets business manager Sonya Spink said: “This year, we’ve started the search for our Christmas traders early to make sure we get the range of high quality gifts, crafts and food that visitors to our Christmas Market will expect.
“We now want to hear from the makers, bakers and caterers who will help make the Christmas Market one of the highlights of Leicester’s events programme.
“We’re particularly keen to attract local and independent traders who want to sell gifts, crafts and Christmas decorations, so this year we’re offering flexible payment terms that will help small businesses secure their stall while making their upfront costs more manageable.”
Traders interested in applying for a stall at Leicester’s Christmas Market must submit their expressions of interest by Monday 30 April.
More information and the application form are available here[“Source-leicestermercury”]