Standish Christmas Market cancelled amid Covid-19 fears

A borough Christmas market has been cancelled amid fears over the coronavirus.

Announcing the cancellation of Standish Christmas Market, organisers said they could not guarantee the health and safety of visitors and volunteers.

With crowds of around 5,000 people they said it would be impossible to "enforce social distancing and operate in a Covid-secure way."

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In a post on Facebook, residents group Standish Voice, who organise the market, said: "It is with disappointment and sadness that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s Standish Christmas Market.

Crowds enjoy Standish Christmas Market 2016Crowds enjoy Standish Christmas Market 2016
Crowds enjoy Standish Christmas Market 2016

"It has been apparent for a number of months that the market could not be operated in a COVID-secure way and we could not guarantee the health and safety of visitors and the many volunteers who help us to stage the event, which attracts around 5,000 people.

"If you have enjoyed the market in the past, you will know it would be impossible to ensure the social distancing needed to secure the necessary permissions from Wigan Council to stage the event. This is coupled with the general view that a second wave of Coronavirus is more likely in the winter months."

The market has been running since 2015 and costs the group thousands of pounds to stage, money which it said it can't afford to lose. It includes stalls, attraction, a dronks marqiee, Father Christmas games and a Santa Trail.

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They said: "Also, the market, which has been running since 2015, costs Standish Voice thousands of pounds to stage. Spending money on this year’s event for it to be cancelled at the last minute due to another local lockdown would put our finances in jeopardy, risking future events.

"So it is with a heavy heart that our Christmas Market Committee has decided that the Market on December 5th cannot go ahead.

"We want to thank all our volunteers who have helped us stage the Market over the past few years, the businesses, our sponsors and everyone who has worked, performed, or hosted stalls and especially the Christmas Market Committee which organises it.

The group hope the market will return in December next year.