Newcastle City Council has confirmed that the popular Living North Christmas Fair will now be held at Exhibition Park after fears were raised that the four-day event would have to find a new site outside the city.

The festive event – which is one of the biggest in the country – lost its regular site at Newcastle Racecourse due to extra dates being added to the racing calendar, forcing the event organisers to look for a new venue across the region.

The council and the Freemen of Newcastle stepped in to secure a new site large enough to accommodate the tented village and marquee at one of the city’s much-loved parks. Exhibition Park will now provide the setting for the four-day event.

Cllr Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture and communities at Newcastle City Council, said: “The Living North Christmas Fair is a well-established feature in the region’s festive calendar and it is fantastic news that it will be staying in Newcastle in 2017.

“Together with the Freemen of Newcastle, we are delighted the event will be held at Exhibition Park and look forward to welcoming the many exhibitors and visitors who will be coming along over the four days.

“This is an exceptionally popular event, which is expected to attract around 25,000 shoppers and over 250 exhibitors, including many small businesses producing artisan and bespoke items and gifts.

“Exhibition Park is an ideal location for the Living North Christmas Fair and I am sure the event will continue to be hugely successful in its new home for 2017.”

The fair draws crowds and exhibitors from across the country, and is estimated to have brought over £20m to the local economy since it began 11 years ago.

Julian West from Living North said: “I am genuinely delighted that we have been able to keep this hugely positive event in Newcastle. Exhibition Park will be a spectacular setting for what is in essence a celebration of the North East as well as businesses from further afield.

“We are grateful to the city council for their assistance and look forward to making the city, The Freemen of the City who have also been pivotal in the planning, as well as the local community and visitors from near and far, extremely proud of this unique occasion.”

The event runs from Thursday 2 November to Sunday 5 November in Exhibition Park in Jesmond, Newcastle.

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