The market, which generates substantial economic benefits to the city, was introduced in 2012 and is a joint initiative by Exeter Cathedral Chapter, Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Exeter and Heart of Devon Hoteliers & Restaurants Association and Exeter City Council. It is designed and operated by Market Place, one of the UK’s leading market providers.
Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “It is fantastic to see the Christmas Market get the recognition it deserves. The market is an example of how different organisations in the city can work together to produce something worthwhile for the City’s residents and which attracts more visitors to Exeter.
"The co-operation between all parties to introduce the market has resulted in another major attraction for the city. This complements the permanent improvements to the City Centre we have seen in recent years and helps put Exeter firmly on the map as a destination for Christmas shopping.”
The Dean of Exeter Cathedral, the Very Revd Jonathan Draper, said: “It is great news that the quality of Exeter’s Christmas Market has been recognised in this way. Thousands of people came to this year’s market on Cathedral Green, where many local traders were represented. The market on Cathedral Green occupies a very special place in the heart of the city, with the unique backdrop of the Cathedral. We are pleased to be working with Exeter City Council and Market Place to deliver a high quality experience for people.”
James Sharp, Chairman of the Devon Hotels and Restaurants association said: “When we put the vision together we wanted to provide a great Christmas shopping experience for those in and around Exeter as well as visitors from further afield. To be recognised in this way in just the market’s second year is a wonderful achievement and a credit to all involved.”
Last year's market opened for business from 21 November until 19 December and the number of visitors was estimated by Market Place at around 500,000, a 40% increase on the estimate for 2012.
Nick Rhodes, Market Place’s Chief Executive said: “The market received visitors from numerous locations within a 150 mile radius, some of whom had never been to Exeter before. Our extensive marketing activity and social media platforms generated a lot of interest in the Market and certainly added to the excitement about it. We work hard to ensure the Christmas market adds to the festive experience of the city and we are already preparing for this year.
"We are delighted to have won this award which is a testimony to the excellent partnership between Market Place and the local organisations involved, while also not forgetting all the tremendous efforts from the traders who supported the event.”
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