Cheltenham Christmas market is cancelled for 2020

The Christmas market planned for Cheltenham in 2020 has been cancelled due to safety concerns surrounding the Coronavirus epidemic. It joins a growing number of cancelled Christmas markets across the UK.

The new and expanded Cheltenham Christmas market has been cancelled because of Coronavirus concerns, organisers confirmed on Thursday 17 September 2020.

Following the Government’s announcement on ‘the rule of six’, Cheltenham Business Improvement District (Cheltenham BID) announced that it had made the decision in consultation with Gloucestershire Public Health and the town’s Safety Advisory Group.

Cheltenham BID had taken over responsibility for the Christmas markets from the borough council for the first time in 2020 and had appointed two new operators for the festive events, with plans to expand from The Promenade all the way up to Imperial Gardens.

Alex Rose, Chairman of the BID, said: ‘The decision to cancel was a hard one. We looked at several alternative plans which would enable us to bring the extended markets to town, but the public’s health must come first.

‘The board and BID team are working flat out to try and support business during this challenging time and ask the public to continue to support their local businesses by shopping and eating locally.’

In Gloucestershire, it was announced that Gloucester Quays Christmas market was cancelled in August 2020, with Christmas markets in Birmingham, Bath and across the UK also not going ahead amid concerns over the upsurge in the number of people contracting Coronavirus nationally. Cheltenham's Christmas ice rink was cancelled in July 2020.

Jess Goodwin, event manager for the BID and Marketing Cheltenham, said: ‘With nearby places like Worcester also cancelling their markets, Cheltenham would have been the only town in the south west and Midlands still running a market, attracting large crowds from neighbouring regions, which could affect the level of infection within the local area and we want to do what is necessary to avoid this.’

In an effort to make Christmas in Cheltenham as special as possible, Cheltenham BID is providing new Christmas lights across the town centre, supported by Cheltenham Borough Council, and plans to organise festive family activities too.

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© SoGlos
Thursday 17 September 2020

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