Solihull’s Christmas market axed in favour of new outdoor cinema
SOLIHULL’S annual Christmas market has been axed this year.
The regular event was forced to close early last year amid heavy criticism from visitors and traders.
The traders were asked to leave two weeks early because businesses complained they were blocking the view and putting generators outside shops.
The market had been run by Solihull Business Improvement District, and funded by local businesses, shops and restaurants.
This year the market has been replaced by a new attraction in Mell Square – an outdoor cinema.
From December 10 to 22 a heated marquee will be showing a variety of Christmas films including Frozen, Miracle on 34th Street and classic Home Alone movies.
Seating in the cinema is on a first come, first served basis and there will also be a limited number of blankets to use.
The Shoppers Haven event will also boast a hot dog stand, a hot food stall and and a bar selling drinks and hot chocolate.
There will also be a Festive Feast food market from December 19 to 23, selling food from around the world.
Visitors can sample a variety of hot dishes as well as a selection of cold foods to buy and take home.
John Timms, Operations Manager for Solihull BID, said: “We are always looking at ways to switch things up and we are going for a different format this year.”
Last year visitors slammed the borough’s Christmas market offering, many saying that it was ‘ tacky’ and ‘ cheap’.
Melanie Palmer, Solihull’s BID director, previously said: “Last year we had some strong feedback that we need to protect our businesses that are here all year round and fund the BID.
“With that in mind we made the decision to run a shorter market to ensure that the critical pinch point of Christmas shoppers in the last few weeks leading up the big day were able to navigate the town centre more smoothly at a time when visitor numbers are vastly increased.
“Solihull is a fabulous place to visit all year round, but in particular at Christmas when our retail and leisure community really pull out the stops for visitors.”
Last year’s outdoor Christmas Market in Solihull