German founders miss Lincoln Christmas Market due to costs

FFN Neustadt stall at a previous market
Image caption The group was one of 11 stalls at the first Lincoln Christmas Market in 1982

One of the founding members of Lincoln Christmas Market said high costs and low revenue have kept them away this year, for the first time ever.

Lincoln brought the first traditional German-style Christmas market to the UK in 1982 as part of its twinning with the town of Neustadt.

FFN Neustadt, a not-for-profit organisation, was one of the original 11 stalls.

President Wermer Maas said they were unable to justify the costs this year.

"We are very unhappy not to be there, but the costs have increased significantly in recent years - especially our travel costs from Neustadt to Lincoln," he said.

"Not to forget the fees for the stall and the accommodation costs. As we are a not-for-profit organisation we have to look after the money."

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He said there had also been issues last year over access to his stall, which sells German wine and promotes produce from the Rhineland-Palatinate region.

However, Mr Maas said he was hopeful of returning next year after speaking with City of Lincoln Council, which organises the event.

He said they were looking at having a smaller stall in 2020 to reduce costs.

Image caption FFN Neustadt is hoping to return next year with a smaller stall

Simon Walters, director of communities and environment at the city council, said: "We completely understand the FFN's position this year."

"Bringing their goods to Lincoln from Germany clearly has a number of significant overheads, not least travel and accommodation for those involved."

The 2019 event runs until Sunday.

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