Festive market for Montpellier

adv  Montpellier Quarter.  2711039a.
adv Montpellier Quarter. 2711039a.

PLANS to bring a ‘high-quality and upmarket’ Christmas market to Harrogate are being proposed by Harrogate at Christmas.

The group responsible for bringing the annual Christmas light display to the town is hoping to set up the marketplace at the bottom of Montpellier Hill for four days in November and help bring visitors to the town during the festive period.

The treasurer of the Harrogate at Christmas group, Brian Dunsby, said: “We’ve come to the conclusion that just the lights actually leaves people a bit short so we decided to go for a Harrogate Christmas market.”

Mr Dunsby said other towns and cities attracted large numbers of people each year to their own markets and while Harrogate didn’t have a large open square the way that somewhere like York did, there were alternative options.

“What we’re going to do, all being well and subject to the approval of the borough council and the county council, is take over the section of St Mary’s Walk at the bottom of Montpellier Hill,” said Mr Dunsby.

“We’re going to run four rows of chalets and gazebos and high hat tents, high quality stalls, for the four days of the switch on of the Christmas lights and the weekend immediately after it.”

He said the market would be focused on local products and would mostly feature crafts, rather than food.

Stalls will be sold to traders, with discounts offered to Harrogate Chamber members, in order to cover the costs of bringing the market to the area with no funding currently set aside for the proposal.

The market, which will be driven by Harrogate Chamber together with the Harrogate at Christmas group, the Promoting Harrogate Group and the Town Centre Development Group, will aim to increase footfall for town centre businesses at the same time.

Mr Dunsby said he hoped to convince coach companies which already visit the town during the summer months to bring shoppers to the market.

“The aim is not to take business out of the town, it’s very much to bring people into the town,” he said.