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Details of Christmas Markets success relayed at committee

08 February 2022
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Business and Culture committee at their monthly meeting today heard details about the success of the Christmas Markets and the plans for markets in the upcoming year.
The committee were informed about how the Christmas Markets in December took on a different format to previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the intention to make it easier for traders to recoup some lost earnings by reducing stall fees, aiding in the recovery of the city and its local businesses following the lockdown.
The markets took place over two weekends in December, and members heard that 40 stalls were opened across that time, set up in Guildhall Square which was dressed to create a festive ambiance. Family friendly animation was scheduled, and live music was programmed consisting of local musicians and choirs.
The committee heard that the Walled City Market contributed to an uplift in footfall within the City Centre across the Christmas period, and that feedback from traders revealed they were happy with the programme.
Kevin O'Connor, Council's Head of Business, then informed members of plans for markets in the city and district in the year ahead, and how it is hoped that following the easing of restrictions and a renewed sense of optimism around the trajectory of the pandemic, more markets can take place this year after a reduced programme in 2020 and 2021.
Members heard of dates planned for the Walled City Markets in Derry, markets across different sites in Strabane, and market opportunities at different events being held in 2022.
Cllr Conor Heaney, committee chair, welcomed the report and said that the markets were a valued and important asset that supported and promoted local businesses across the district.