Action planned over Spalding Christmas Market failings

FESTIVE MARKET: Jade Ostler of Lincon-based Jade's Bakery with cordials and preserves which proved popular at this year's Christmas Market in Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  ANL-161127-135202001.
FESTIVE MARKET: Jade Ostler of Lincon-based Jade's Bakery with cordials and preserves which proved popular at this year's Christmas Market in Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson. ANL-161127-135202001.

Action is to be taken to prevent a repeat of this year’s disappointing Christmas Market in Spalding.

A new “steering group” is to be formed, made up of town traders and district councillors, to help organise future festive events in the town.

The plan was unveiled at December’s meeting of Spalding Town Forum in front of representatives from business, civic and community sectors, as well as South Holland District Council members whose wards are in Spalding.

Forum chairman Coun Jack McLean said: “The steering group is to help organise and prepare the annual festivities in Spalding as a whole, including the Christmas tree, lights and festive market.”

“Whilst it’s not an absolute certainty, it’s safe to assume that there’s unlikely to be a Christmas lights switch-on event next year for two reasons.

“The first is the unfortunate loss of town centre manager Dennis Hannant and the other reason is that whilst we’ll continue to have representatives from businesses, the steering group will set out its aims alongside other organisations as well.

Whilst it’s not an absolute certainty, it’s safe to assume that there’s unlikely to be a Christmas lights switch-on event next year

Coun Jack McLean, chairman, Spalding Town Forum

“Ultimately, the group aims to pool all of the available resources locally into one body and make a success of festive events in Spalding.”

Last month’s Christmas market went down badly with shoppers, traders and organisers because of the small number of market stalls.

Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am delighted to learn that the Town Forum plans to set up a Christmas Events Steering Committee and I hope they invite other interested parties to join it.”

Darren Sutton, chairman of the Spalding Town Centre Retailers’ Association (STRA), said: “I am pleased that Spalding Town Forum members are discussing the idea of a steering committee to help organise events for the town over Christmas next year.

“It would be good for the STRA, Crescent Traders Association, market traders and other interested parties to get involved and ensure that we have a better Christmas event which attracts people to Spalding in 2017.”

How should Christmas events in Spalding be improved? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk