Christmas not online only, say local artists as they urge shoppers to support outdoor market in Edinburgh city centre

Local traders have urged shoppers to get out and support their street market, as organisers fear messages about Christmas in the Capital being online will hit their trade.

By Jolene Campbell
Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Ethan Wood from Andante Bakery at the Castle Street market last year
Ethan Wood from Andante Bakery at the Castle Street market last year

Stalls are ready to open for business on Castle Street at a market featuring local artists, quality gift-makers and food and drink producers.

But despite the prime city centre spot, organisers say they fear shoppers could be put off by messages telling them that ‘live' Christmas in the Capital is cancelled, after the popular Christmas markets at Princes Street were cancelled and moved to online only due to Covid-19.

Organiser of Castle Street market Tania Pramshufer urged shoppers to support small, independent traders.

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She said: “We are going to be here, and we are at the heart of Edinburgh. All we keep hearing is that Edinburgh is shut for Christmas markets. It has been so tough as the message out there is Edinburgh Christmas is closed and markets only operate online. That’s a sledgehammer to our market.

“Not everyone does online and a lot of people like to get out and see or touch things before they buy them. Castle Street is a beautiful spot and people will be able to soak up some festive atmosphere outdoors, even with social distancing in place.”

“Every sale is supporting a local businesses, helping folk to get through to the other side of Christmas. For small independent businesses these next few weeks are survival.”

Tania runs LocalMotive Markets, a local market and events company that supports independent trade. She added:

“LocalMotive Markets is a market and events company that platforms local traders, makers, designers, foodies and drinks companies. We don’t charge the same rates as the visiting market operators, this means the traders can afford to come and trade, to make a profit as well shoppers to enjoy a great shopping experience.”

Castle St market stalls open on November 26 and will be stocked with jewellery, pastries from an award-winning local bakery, art works, soap and candles, seasoning products, tweed and leather bags, gin and brewery products, original art and prints, confectionery, cashmere wraps, wood crafted bespoke gifts and more.

Jon Wood, owner of Andante Bakery said: “We have suffered a lot at our usual markets and our retail business, like many, has been hit by Covid-19. We have high hopes for the Castle Street market.

“There will be fewer tourists but we hope we can support people by providing a service they can’t get anywhere else. We are looking forward to being a part of some much needed merriment!”

Lyn, a glass marker from Edinburgh said: “Last year loads of us local traders and small artists missed out on having a stall anywhere near the city centre for Christmas. We don’t have thousands to hand over to the big market for their stalls.

“Artists who are in Edinburgh all year round are all but pushed out for Christmas. We need people to get behind us and support local. Christmas is not cancelled, it’s up to local artists and the people of Edinburgh to save it.”

Councillor Mandy Watt, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work, Vice Convener, said:

“Supporting local is more important than ever this year. The global pandemic has hit all sectors very hard so it’s crucial we encourage shoppers across Edinburgh to support what is on their doorsteps this festive season, both in person and online.

“Edinburgh’s neighbourhoods and shopping hubs offer so much character and choice across the city and our fantastic local businesses are key to our economy, creating jobs and driving social change. We’ll shortly be launching a new campaign that urges everyone across the city to consider their local shopping district, neighbourhood or market first and spread some festive cheer at the end of what has been a very challenging year for a lot of people.

LocalMotive two Christmas Markets are at Castle Street from November 26 to December 23and Ocean Terminal Christmas Market from November 25 to December 23.

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