MP welcomes Christmas market commitment.

Harrogate MP Andrew Jones has welcomed a commitment from the council that it will explore all the options for providing a Christmas market in Harrogate town centre. 

Mr Jones commented: “The Christmas Market has grown and grown over the years, and that’s been brilliant.

“There have clearly been issues with the Montpellier Hill location this year.  I don’t know if these were surmountable or not, but no agreement seems to have been reached.  

“I have read that the usual organisers have announced that they are not going to be seeking approval for a new event plan on Montpellier Hill which addresses the issues raised.  I think it is only right to recognise their incredible efforts over eight years to build an event which has grown year-on-year to the point where an incredible 85,000 people could be expected.  We should all thank them for what they have done irrespective of what the future holds.

“I want to see efforts to bring people into our area at Christmas. I think the Christmas Market has done that in previous years, so hope it can continue in some form. The easiest solution would have been to grant a licence for the Montpellier site which is why I believe there must have been very good reasons not to do so. 

“Retailers contacting me simply want to make sure there is a safe and quality Christmas market in Harrogate.  They are not too interested in the wrangling over the exact location.

“That is why, putting the past in the past, I am pleased that a commitment remains from the council to pick up the problem and sort it by speaking to other Christmas market organisers.  My preference would still be for the usual organisers to get together with the council, the BID and the Chamber of Trade to make the town centre event a proper festive belter.  I hope they will all find a way of doing this.  Each has expertise, useful contacts and energy to bring to the party.

“Time though is marching on.  I am pleased that contingencies are in place and moving forward at pace.  Whatever the outcome I’m looking forward to seeing the streets packed with shoppers once again this Christmas.”