Christmas Market cancelled after asbestos find

The Corn Exchange

Contractors working at Leicester’s Corn Exchange have removed asbestos from the rear of the building, after it was discovered during construction work earlier this summer.

The additional works required to make the site safe mean that the scheme to enclose the building’s essential services behind a new wall is now unlikely to be completed in November as scheduled – and that uncertainty means that the Christmas market planned for the new market square will not now go ahead.

Head of markets Paul Edwards said: “This is obviously very disappointing for everyone who was looking forward to the festive market in Leicester this Christmas.

“The decision to cancel the market was a difficult one to make, but as we could not be confident that the works would be finished in time, we could not risk going ahead with the event.

“It was important to make the decision early, so that the traders had time to make alternative arrangements – and so we had time to make alternative plans for Christmas 2018 at the new market square.

“The discovery of asbestos within the brick enclosures at the rear of the Corn Exchange could not have been foreseen, but we are determined that the new market square will still be a key part of our Christmas programme this year.

“We’ll soon be announcing our plans for a free, family-friendly Christmas event that will fit on the square, even if the contractors are still on site, which we hope people will enjoy – and which we hope will make Leicester Market a key destination in Leicester this Christmas.”

Around 20 traders had already signed up for Leicester’s Christmas market and they have all now been contacted.