File Pic: The Cottage Market in Newbridge Town Hall
Those looking forward to the annual Christmas Cottage Market will be disappointed to learn that it will not go ahead this year.
The Cottage Market revealed the news on its official Facebook page that, after receiving a number of enquiries from both Traders and customers about its plans for a Christmas market for 2021.
The statement read: "We're very sorry to let you know that there won't be any Christmas Cottage Markets in Newbridge Town Hall this year."
"We've got confirmation from KCC who manage the venue that they have no clear plans to reopen the Hall to the public and are not taking bookings for December."
It continued: "We have waited patiently since the Hall was closed in March 2020 for some good news around its reopening, during this time other markets were operating in similar facilities across the country, so to be still unable to access our venue at the end of 2021 is very disappointing for us.
"Our Christmas Cottage Markets had become highlights of the year for us - hosting over 50 small, local Traders and up to 1,500 visitors over our two-day events.
"The opportunity to showcase Newbridge Town Hall as a vibrant, welcoming community hub was one of the main reasons we first started The Cottage Market Newbridge back in March 2017."
It concluded: "Now we need to sit down, consult with our Traders and see whether we could still run the market at an alternative location; we'll keep you posted on the outcome of those discussions."
The Cottage Market also thanked the public for its continuing interest in and support of the event.
A number of commenters have criticised KCC's decision, including local Social Democrats Councillor Chris Pender, who said in a Facebook post: "KCC's gate keeping and attitude towards the communities use of the Town Hall since they closed it to the public in March 2020 is beyond ridiculous."
"Through put the pandemic I have been advocating for the safe reopening of the town hall so that it can support the community the way it should be," he added.
Before the pandemic, the Cottage Market of Newbridge would take place in Newbridge Town Hall on the first Saturday of every month between 10am and 2pm.
It is a voluntary community initiative and is run in conjunction with GIY Ireland and supported by Ulster Bank and The Ireland Funds.
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