Original Harrogate Christmas Market will not return next year


Last updated Aug 20, 2021
Brian Dunsby, of the Harrogate Line Supporters Group.
Brian Dunsby was one of the founders of the original Harrogate Christmas Market.

The original Harrogate Christmas Market will not return next year after Harrogate Borough Council entered into formal talks with an organiser from Manchester.

Brian Dunsby, who established the Christmas market in 2012 and built it up to a success, has admitted defeat in his battle to hold the event on Montpellier Hill.

Harrogate Borough Council refused the licence at the end of July and has now revealed that Market Place Europe is now planning to hold a smaller event in December.

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After three weeks of wrangling with the council Brian Dunsby told the Stray Ferret:

“It is a shame for traders we have and for the sake of the town centre businesses which all need the Harrogate Christmas Market.

“Some of the traders may go bust. I think that very few will get into the event being organised by Market Place Europe.

“We created a marvellous event, it was a great success. It is also a distressing situation for the local charities we raise money for.

“Over the years we donated £90,000 from the profits we made.”

Mr Dunsby does not plan to hold the Harrogate Christmas Market this year of next but thinks there may be an opportunity for it to return in 2023. He added:

“By 2023 North Yorkshire County Council will be in charge. So whether we have another go then, I don’t know. It’s too early to say.

“I will not try next year because I do not think there is any point when Harrogate Borough Council is still in charge.”

The orginial Harrogate Christmas Market had around 170 traders booked in, 55 coaches and it expected to attract around 90,000 visitors for the four-day event.

Harrogate Borough Council refused a licence for Brian Dunsby’s event at the end of July.

It said that the event management plan did not fully take into account overcrowding, counter-terrorism and the ongoing risk of coronavirus.

However, Market Place Europe is planning to host 45 stalls with a mixture of European and local traders over 10 days at a yet undisclosed location in the town centre.

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