Residents concerned Leeds Christmas market will disrupt trade

Local traders claim the German themed market is neither feasible or profitable for city centre

By Ria Taylor and Sarah Mattimoe

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the annual Leeds Christkindelmarkt German Market returns to Millenium Square tonight.

But it’s not all festive fun and celebrations, especially for local residents and trade workers, who label the Christmas market as an ‘inconvenience’.

Millenium Square plays host to a number of popular bars and restaurants, and is a well known spot for eating and drinking in the city centre – but residents are worried that the market will bring a different ambience to a usually ‘adult’ atmosphere.

Thomas Marsden, a local engineer and Leeds resident, said that although the market brings in “a respectable amount of income”, it causes wide disruption to both roads and usual trade.

“The Christmas market is an inconvenience for what they actually bring to the city centre,” said Mr Marsden. “Especially compared to cities like Manchester, York, Birmingham and Edinburgh.”

“It’s not particularly viable or useful for Leeds when you look at the disruption and road closures it causes.”

The family-friendly traditional market will hold over 40 wooden chalet stalls, offering handmade gifts, toys, jewellery and Christmas decorations. Authentic Bavarian food and drink will also be on sale throughout the market, ranging from German sausages to mulled wine and steins of beer.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “Leeds has one of the most popular Christmas markets in the north of England, which has been running for almost twenty years and is enjoyed by many thousands of people.”

“As is to be expected with any major city centre attractions, there is potential for some noise and we work closely with those involved in the events to make sure they do not operate at excessive volume or at unreasonable hours, and that access is maintained.”

The Leeds German Market is free to enter and will run from Friday 9 November to Saturday 22 December.

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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