Organiser defends £2.50 charge to attend Llandudno Christmas Fayre

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

Despite record numbers the chairman the Llandudno Christmas Fayre has been forced to defend the event and some of the “myths” surrounding it.

More than 35,000 residents and visitors attended the 2017 fair but were forced to pay £2.50 for the first time which has caused a number of complaints.

A letter received by the North Wales Pioneer this week also said businesses on Madoc Street were overlooked during the fair and suffered because of the change in location – to Trinity Square in Llandudno.

The letter from Madoc Street volunteer Sophie Spree said: “When I read this article ('Best Christmas Fair yet!' – North Wales Pioneer, Wednesday November 22nd 2017) I was pleased to hear that the Llandudno Christmas Fair was a success, but I am not writing to congratulate the committee.

“I would like to tell you about the shops and businesses on Madoc Street that seemed to get overlooked during the Llandudno Christmas Fair.

“When the move of the fair was first proposed we were quite disappointed as the fair tends to be our busiest week of the year.

“Footfall in our shop was significantly down on previous years which brought our takings down too.

“I would like to question it being the 'Best Christmas Fair yet!' for every shop and business on Madoc Street.

“I believe that we all suffered a blow from it being moved and as far as I am aware nobody has consulted us for any feedback since.

“I would like to hope that the layout and format will be reconsidered again before the fair returns in 2018.”

However Llandudno Christmas Fayre Community Interest Company chairman David Rowley said in his letter any decisions made about the fair were for the good of the town.

Mr Rowley, in a separate letter to the Pioneer, said: “I think I should try and lay to rest some of the myths surrounding the Fayre.

“Our organisation exists to support Llandudno by helping the businesses in the town, the farming industry and providing small and artisan businesses an outlet for their products.

“The more we can do to support the shops and hotels in Llandudno, the less likely they are to close or even move elsewhere.

“The Christmas Fayre attracted thousands of additional visitors to the town at an otherwise quiet time of year.

“The hotels are full as a result, and coaches bring people from all over Wales, England and Scotland, not just to attend the fair but also to enjoy the marvelous destination of Llandudno.

“Forty coach parties attended the event, plus a steam train brought visitors from London Euston Station.”

The £2.50 entry fee was also case for discussion following the event, with fairs in the past being free to attend.

But Mr Rowley said: “Because the fair is not paid for by Conwy Country Borough Council, local council taxpayers do not pay for the event.

“It is paid for by a mix of entry fees, grants, sponsorship and gifts in kind from dozens of volunteers from Llandudno who all want to help and support Llandudno and see it thrive.

“This year we asked visitors to the fair to pay a small entry fee to keep the event sustainable and any profit will be re-invested into next year’s event.”

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