25 November 2020

A montage of images from Totnes markets, including fruit and vegetables, fish, pies and flowers

After careful consideration, South Hams District Council (SHDC), in partnership with Totnes Town Council (TTC), have taken the decision not to hold the Christmas markets scheduled for December 2020.

This difficult decision has been taken given the balance of probabilities around COVID-19 safety, particularly the need to ensure social distancing. The events are historically very large scale, attracting thousands of visitors, and need significant upfront investment and event planning time to ensure they run smoothly.

The really great news is that SHDC and TTC are intending to start working together towards how to make the 2021 evenings better than ever. 

In the meantime, the focus will be on supporting our local businesses through the #VisitTotnes brand by encouraging everyone to #ShopLocal and #SupportTotnes to keep Totnes vibrant and thriving.

All other South Hams markets will run, including the Friday and Saturday Totnes markets. These markets will be risk assessed and will be run in line with Government guidelines in place at the time.  It is also the intention to run the December Totnes Food Market on Sunday 20 December 2020. 

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "This has been a tremendously difficult decision for us to make because the markets are so popular with traders and the public. However, keeping our communities safe continues to be our priority. Based on the huge turnouts we've had in previous years, we felt that maintaining social distancing measures would be too challenging to effectively manage."

Cllr Jacqi Hodgson, Mayor of Totnes, added: "The good news is that the regular Friday and Saturday markets are still planned to go ahead, dependent on any changes to local or national guidelines. It is also planned to hold the December Totnes Food Market on the Sunday before Christmas. The Town Council and South Hams District Council will be working together on plans for 2021 to make future Christmas events in the town safe and even more prosperous than ever." 

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