A brand new Christmas market outside Chester’s Town Hall is set to give the City a major boost over the festive period.
The new initiative is being driven and managed by Marketing Cheshire to revitalise and refresh the traditional outdoor trading event.
The plans for the new Christmas Market were unveiled at a special launch of the Chester Christmas Campaign last week at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which Marketing Cheshire is delivering with its partners – Chester Race Company, Chester Zoo, Chester Cathedral, Theatre in the Quarter and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The new Christmas Market will be taking place from 21st November until 15th December and will feature 40 traditional wooden chalets in the Town Hall Square offering a variety of quality products, including crafts, clothing, jewellery, giftware and local food and drink.
The new Christmas Market for Chester will complement the existing strong retail offer in the City and will form part of a comprehensive, co-ordinated package of festive entertainment designed to attract visitors from near and far and boost trade.
Marketing Cheshire will be working closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council events team and other city partners as part of a wider festive programme of events in the city. This includes Chester Zoo’s Lantern Magic, the Winter Wonderland at Chester Racecourse including a real ice rink, traditional fairground and Santa’s Grotto,as well as Christmas events at Chester Cathedral, a Light Switch-on Parade on the 21st November and long established events such as the Winter Watch and the Roman Saturnalia parades.
A marketing campaign will start in the autumn to promote the comprehensive Christmas programme to residents and visitors in addition to work already being undertaken with coach operators to drive business to the city. The plan is to develop a growth strategy for the market over the next five years expanding to key streets and areas of the city.
Cllr Stuart Parker, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Recreation at Cheshire West and Chester Council and a Board member of Marketing Cheshire said:
"Chester and Christmas go hand in hand and over the last few years it has grown as a destination of choice for shopping and leisure. This year Christmas will be even more special, starting with a Christmas light switch-on on Thursday 21st November and offering a diverse and inspiring programme of entertainment and shopping opportunities that will capture the festive spirit and offer something for everyone."
Katrina Michel, Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire said: “We are delighted to be launching this new initiative to revitalise Chester’s Christmas offer. The Christmas Market will be in keeping with Chester’s fabulous heritage and reputation as a beautiful, historic city. The event is free for everyone to enjoy and is designed to drive footfall at a vitally important time for the local economy”.
Marketing Cheshire and key partners will consider all the applications for the chalet stalls and award contracts based on quality, choice and value. Local businesses will be given priority in the allocation of stalls. The market will be heavily promoted alongside all Chester’s festive events in a national marketing campaign commencing mid-October that includes regional outdoor advertising, new branding for Christmas in Chester and a brand new Christmas brochure and website.
The marketing initiatives will give Chester businesses the opportunity to get their brand in front of huge audiences with advertising and sponsorship. A full entertainment programme featuring community groups, street performers, schools, brass bands and choirs is planned to complement the new Christmas Market.
Application forms for stalls at the Christmas Market are now available now.
The closing date for applications is 27th June.
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