The cost of bailing out Cardiff’s Christmas market has been revealed as £40,000 to the taxpayer.
The market – which faced criticism from traders for its high costs – ended up being funded by Cardiff council to stop traders pulling out.
Retailers in the city centre said the market needed to remain for future years, but thought needed to be given to how it was run.
David Hughes-Lewis, chairman of Cardiff Retail Partnership, said: “I think the Christmas market was severley affected by the bad weather last year. The top end of High Street was out of bounds for at least a week.
“I think there’s a tendency to meddle and chop and change these things. We need to have a set place for it and people will get used to it.”
Mr Hughes-Lewis also said the market should be extended to include more of St Mary Street.
He said: “I would like to see the market go further down St Mary Street. We could also bring children’s rides into it and more food stalls to attract families. You need to give people a good reason to go to it.”
The freedom of information request showed the council received £20,000 of income from the fair. This also includes money from the forthcoming Spring Fair.
A spokesman for Cardiff council defended the Christmas market bailout, saying: “The Christmas Market was a part of the Cardiff @ Christmas shopping experience which aimed to re-establish footfall in the Castle Quarter and enhance the profile of St Johns Street and Working Street.
“The Christmas Market provided a range of different products for the large amount of visitors that were shopping in the city centre for Christmas and was a desirable addition to the experience of department stores, high street chains and independent shops.
“Figures for the December period show that there were daily retail sales of £3m in the city centre, which was an increase of five per cent compared to December 2009. Footfall also increased by six per cent compared to December 2009.”
A Christmas Market in 2009 generated £1,500 from five events over 73 days.
No one from Craffolk, the Vale of Glamorgan firm behind the market, was available to comment.
Cast your mind back, what did you think of the Christmas Market? How do you think it could be better? Let us know your views in the comments below