Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Christmas market revamp approved

A Father Christmas ornament on a Christmas market stall Image copyright Mellor Group
Image caption The number of stalls is expected to rise from 60 to about 100

The expansion of a north east Christmas market has been confirmed despite concerns from local traders.

Mellors Group Events, which is taking over the running of the event in Newcastle, will increase the number of stalls and run it for an extra week.

City centre traders argued they could lose customers due to added competition.

However, Newcastle City Council has approved the plan which will include a toboggan run.

As well as its usual place at Grey's Monument, the festive event will extend to adjacent streets.

'Major festive destination'

The number of stalls is expected to rise from 60 to about 100, while there will also be a carousel and a 30m (100ft) toboggan run on Blackett Street.

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture, said the event would "position Newcastle as a major festive destination".

He added he was confident it would benefit existing hotels, shops, bars and restaurants.

Image copyright Mellor Group
Image caption The expanded market will feature a helter skelter, like this one in Nottingham

Albert Sayers, who runs a fruit and vegetable stall in Northumberland Street, was among traders to have voiced concerns in recent months.

He warned his business had "suffered before and there is no reason to think it will not suffer again this year".

Other traders have complained the event creates a bottleneck on busy streets.

Edward Mellors, a director of the firm which also run Nottingham's Christmas market, said it would have "all the trimmings to make Christmas in Newcastle a memorable experience".

It will take place from 16 November to 24 December.

The planning permission allows the firm to operate the expanded market for the next three years, although it has signed a five-year contract with the council.

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