The Lincoln Christmas Market 2018 outturn report has revealed the market made a profit of over £54,000 (8.7%) last year – but was £91,000 short of target.
Held from Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9, 2018, the annual market was visited by around 230,000 people over the four days and included over 180 stalls.
The market started in 1982 with 11 stalls and has grown to become one of the biggest Christmas Markets in the country, with an estimated total visitor spend in the region of £14 million with a predicted economic value to the City of £2.65 million based on a 2016 survey conducted by the University of Lincoln.
Overall the Christmas Market generated a profit of £54,160. However this is £91,520 short of the budgeted surplus of £145,680.
The overall predicted income was £615,990 against a budget of £641,030, a shortfall of £25,040.
The market has three main streams of income:
- Stallholder fees (including the fairground)
- Park and ride ticket sales
- Coach bookings
The 2018 market had 180 stalls which achieved a revenue of £431,250 against a budget of £467,010.
Income from stallholder fees was therefore £35,760 below budget.
The report suggests this was due to the council implementing a decision to freeze stall fees in 2018 for stall holders who had traded at 2017 and returned in 2018, as it was felt these traders had been disadvantaged by the closure of the market on the Sunday in 2017.
However, income from the fairground exceeded budget by £6,680.
Park & Ride income
The Park and Ride system, which operated from the Lincolnshire Showground over the four day period was used by was used by at total of 6,800 cars.
Broken down into the four days, this included:
- 958 cars on Thursday @ £13 per car
- 1,427 cars on Friday @ £14 per car
- 2,546 cars on Saturday @ £15 per car
- 1,896 cars on Sunday @ £14 per car
The park and ride operation generated an income of £103,880 against a budget target of £126,710 – a shortfall of £22,830.
The report suggest the loss was due to the additional provision for parking at the new central multi-storey car park, which appeared to show a like for like increase in numbers over the Christmas Market period.
Coach bookings also continue to reduce in 2018, with the report stating a significant decline over the past 3 years.
In 2018, coach parking was operated from RAF Scampton for all four days. A total of 201 coaches attended the market in 2018, compared with 227 coaches in 2017 and 264 in 2016.
This generated an income of £16,960, £9,580 short of the income target of £26,540.
Staff costs covered the 40 City of Lincoln Council staff that contributed to the running of the actual market period and include those carrying out roles such as event office staff, zone supervisors, CCTV and communications.
Staff costs came in £5,100 under budget.
The market hired a number of venues including Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire Showground and RAF Scampton.
Total costs of venue hire came to £47,130, slightly over the budget of £45,000.
Total contractor costs were the single biggest variation against budget for the City of Lincoln Council in 2018.
Contractor costs are predicted to come in at £483,060. This is £68,270 over the budget of £414,790.
This covers 21 contracts/service level agreements.
The report states that several contracts had seen relatively small increases in the order of £1,000 – £2,000 either due to inflationary increases above budget or due to additional requests of the contractor for services that the team required due to safety requirements or developing the market.
According to the report, the refuse and stewarding contracts saw considerable increases.
The report stated: “These have combined exceeded budgeted costs by around £13,000.
“This is due to an increased amount of refuse collected year on year and likewise a demand to provide additional stewarding around the market and in some cases for longer periods of time.
“Additionally the security costs due to policing and traffic mitigation measures that were introduced in 2017 are around £45,000 (similar to 2017 costs) and these are currently unbudgeted.
“The authority has funded this element of budget pressure within the next MTFS.”