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Business Update: Christmas 2015

Posted November 17, 2015
Written by Greater Grassmarket
Category Public BID

Business Update: Christmas 2015

Dear Local Business, 

As many of you know, as soon as we heard that the Grassmarket was not included in the City Council's 2015 Christmas plans we began working to develop a new kind of family Christmas activity to take place in the Grassmarket this winter.

Working with M&D events over the past six months, we developed a family friendly Victorian Christmas celebration, planned to run 5th December to 2nd January, including stalls, Ferris wheel, chestnuts and more. Alongside this, we had plans in place to support businesses with Victorian-style window dressing, provisions to dress the area and costumes for staff.

As we developed this proposal, we worked to find a balance between the needs of those who work and those who live in the area, including editing the proposal (outlined here) to adapt to resident concerns raised during our meetings with individuals, groups and local politicians.

On Friday 13th November the City of Edinburgh Council Licensing Sub Committee voted (4,3) against the application for the Public Entertainment Licence required to run this event. 

We had the support of Council Officers including public safety and noise management, who we have been working with throughout the development of our plans, and the event took into account the views of residents. We consulted on the licence application on a scale no other BID in Edinburgh does or seems to need to and committed to having a member of staff on site throughout the event to act as a point of liaison for local people to highlight our willingness to work with the local area. We even agreed to a 7 day 'trial' licence to be considered in order to prove that the provisions set in place to consider those from the local area could be maintained.

This is a significant disappointment to us and the area after many months of work. There is no appeal process for Victorian Christmas licence.

The BID Board are holding an emergency meeting today to devise an alternate, smaller plan that can fit within our existing licence (limited to weekends). We urge you to get in touch in the next few days if you have any suggestions to go into the plan as Christmas is getting close.

We want to thank all the local businesses who took the time to sign the petition or send in letters of support for the Victorian Christmas proposal. We would also like to thank the BID voluntary board members who have worked tirelessly on this proposal in a voluntary capacity thought out the last six months.

If you would like to send us any thoughts or ideas you have surrounding how you can help, please get in touch. We will be holding Christmas activities and promoting the area and will announce to you all as soon as our plans are firm.

For more information please see today's Edinburgh Evening News article here.