Soli­hull’s Christ­mas mar­ket axed in favour of new out­door cin­ema

Solihull News - - NEWS -

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

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