New Fayre brings Christmas shopping boost in Harrogate town centre

The new Harrogate Christmas Fayre has brought a boost to the retail sector and the town centre.The new Harrogate Christmas Fayre has brought a boost to the retail sector and the town centre.
The new Harrogate Christmas Fayre has brought a boost to the retail sector and the town centre.
A Harrogate shop has hailed the current Christmas Fayre which finishes this Sunday as "brilliant".

In advance of the decision to have Christmas market ‘stalls’ - or Swiss-style wooden chalets - in the heart of Harrogate’s shopping sector in the Cambridge Street area for the first time in living memory, the hope was it would bring a festive economic spin-off boost for retailers.

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The first few days proved a stunning success and, although the weather dented turnout at the start of the week by Thursday night the town centre's shopping streets under the Christmas lights were seeing the most number of shoppers out and about beyond 5.30pm for years.

Speaking after the first weekend of the new Harrogate Christmas Fayre, at least one of the shops in the town centre says the new event has “done the town proud”.

Jamie Tatters, manager of Clinton Cards on Cambridge Street said his store has been attracting new customers thanks to the fayre.

“I think it’s been brilliant for my store. We have had a number of new customers in and have received some wonderful feedback on our products. Me and my team are 100 per cent behind the fayre and hope Market Place Europe can return yearly.”

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Organisers have been determined to bring a feeling of safety to shoppers and visitors attending the fayre.

As well as a police presence, well spaced out stalls and Covid safety measures such as hand sanitiser stations, road access restrictions have also been in place in the area of the Christmas Fayre around Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent.

It all adds up to a festive experience beyond the stall holders offering Christmas gifts and food and drink, said Clinton’s manager Mr Tatters.

“I have seen some brilliant stalls with some very yummy looking foods and drinks, the staff working for the market have been very kind and helpful and it’s great to see the police presence around town given people that bit more confidence that the safety of the community is a priority.

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“With the hand sanitising stations around, it’s great to know everyone is still doing their bit to help stay safe from Covid.

“Overall I think the market has done the town proud.”

Part of a coordinated campaign by business groups such as Harrogate BID and Harrogate Borough Council’s Visit Harrogate team to boost the local economy, the new event has been organised by Market Place Europe, the UK’s leading and award-winning Christmas market operator.

The effect of the fayre in tandem with the opening of fairground attractions, a free ‘road train’ and the artisan market in Valley Gardens contributed to a fantastic first weekend for Visit Harrogate’s Destination Christmas campaign. Coun Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, hailed the fayre as a massive hit.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the opening week of the first Harrogate Christmas Fayre has been a roaring success.

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“There was a suggestion that a Christmas market couldn’t take place in the heart of Harrogate town centre. But the hordes of people - young and old - enjoying themselves and buying gifts from both the high street businesses and the market traders proves that it does work and rather successfully at that.”

With the Christmas lights shining brightly above the streets, a giant red and white helter skelter and a free Candy Cane ‘road train’ all adding a family fun flavour and festive sparkle to Harrogate town centre, business leaders are delighted by the impact of the town’s Christmas campaign.

Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson said: “From comments we are receiving, this past weekend has been one of the busiest on record, and the launch of the Christmas Fayre and Candy Cane Express have been a major factor in this.

“Businesses have pulled out all the stops, and Harrogate is looking amazing.”

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David Simister, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive, said the joint fire power of so many different forces was paying off for the town centre economy.

“Harrogate Borough Council, Destination Harrogate and Harrogate BID are to be congratulated for making Harrogate a magical must-visit destination this Christmas.

“Locating attractions and the Christmas Fayre in different parts of the town is benefiting businesses in all areas, and having them in situ for longer than one weekend is encouraging people to come into town and driving footfall day after day. Not only is the ‘Candy Cane Express’ fun to ride, it’s also helping ferry people to areas they might not have otherwise visited, again benefiting businesses in these areas.”

Harrogate Christmas Fayre Opening times until December 12

Harrogate Christmas Fayre is open until this Sunday.

Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 10am- 7pm; Thursday to Saturday 10am-9pm; Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm.

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