Newcastle’s Christmas Market a sparkling success

The market attracted over 1.375 million visitors and gave a near £57m boost to the city economy.
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Newcastle Christmas Market 2023. Shoppers look at items in and around a wooden cabin selling woollen hats and scarves. In the background a large Christmas tree, covered in lights, stretches up towards a darkening, evening sky.

Newcastle’s Christmas Market has been hailed a great success, attracting both visitors and income into the city. 

The 2023 market attracted over 1.375 million visitors and provided a near £57million boost to the city’s economy, an independent report has shown. 

Newcastle City Council again worked with NE1 to organise the market, building on the successes of the previous years, with local traders predominate and approximately 50 stalls located around Grainger Street, Grey Street and Old Eldon Square. 

97% of those interviewed believe the Christmas market is important to Newcastle, and the market was also highly rated, with 86% expressing a positive opinion. This figure has remained consistently high year-on-year, illustrating the broad appeal of the market, with 76% of visitors feeling it improved on the offer in 2022. 

Other findings showed: 

  • The 2023 market attracted 6% more visitors than the previous year, with a notable increase in visitors to Old Eldon Square.
  • Two out of every three visitors travelled into Newcastle from outside of the city, illustrating the market's geographical pull - particularly to those from elsewhere within the North East. 
  • 76% of visitors felt that the market improved on that of 2022, with the variety of stalls, food offer and atmosphere at the market all being praised. 
  • The total overall spent (Christmas market and city centre) by those visiting the market can be estimated as £56.8 million, up 19% on 2022.
  • The Grainger Market remains integral to Newcastle’s Christmas offer - 60% of Christmas market visitors said that they had visited, or planned to visit, the Grainger Market on the same day. 

The research also identified some key improvements that respondents suggested for future years and the council and NE1 are already working on ideas of how to make next year’s market better, with more music, family attractions and an even wider range of stalls.

Cllr Alex Hay, Cabinet member for a Thriving City said: “I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the market over the Christmas period, and this report proves many other people did too. 

“We remain committed to provide local people with free and accessible events both at Christmas and throughout the year, but it is also great that there were so many visitors from outside of Newcastle. Not only does this provide an opportunity to showcase our fantastic city, it also benefits our economy considerably, as this report highlights. 

“I am very grateful to all those who took the time to take part in this research as we continue to make improvements to the market year on year. We will be taking on board all comments when planning next year’s market to help cement Newcastle’s place as a key destination for Christmas markets and a place our residents can be proud of.”

Stephen Patterson, Chief Executive of NE1 added: “Newcastle’s Christmas Market is a crucial part of the city’s seasonal offer and a fantastic way of creating a festive focus for visitors from near and far. 

“As the research has shown, the market helps make Newcastle a festive travel destination boosting business for bricks-and-mortar businesses as well as the traders at the market. 

“We are excited to work with Newcastle City Council to use the feedback from customers to continuously improve Newcastle’s festive offer and provide a Christmas experience second to none."