Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The sad tale of the Bradford German Christmas Market

Christmas Market
This year, Bradford has had a German Christmas Market, where traders from Germany (and a few other European countries) have set up stalls over here to sell their wares in the run-up to Christmas. German markets have been increasingly popular in many British cities and Bradford, desperate to attract people to the city centre, signed up for a market to run for 4 weeks.

This would be the start of week 3 of the market, but they’re already packing up to go home.

Unfortunately, barely anyone has actually visited the market. I walk through it on my home from work each day and it has been almost dead. A couple of weeks ago I took a few photos, which look fantastic but also show how deserted it was.

Bradford is in an unfortunate situation where a significant part of the city centre has been demolished to make way for the now-mothballed Westfield Bradford development. More and more shops are closing and new shops aren’t opening, since the customers aren’t there – Bradford is so close to Leeds that people will probably prefer to go there, with its greater range of shops and many more independent retailers. Consequently, no companies are willing to invest in a shop in Bradford.

This is why we can’t have nice things, like German markets.

Update: Wakefield has also had problems with its German market which has also finished earlier than planned.


  1. Having briefly returned to Bradford the city of my birth and education, I was stunned at the demise of both the suburbs and inparticular the city centre. I last lived in Bradford 22 years ago and can honestly say there must be few cities in Europe that have imploded the way Bradford has.
    How come Leeds got it so right its bordering cousin got it all so wrong. To say I was shocked was an understatement. When I lived there I could see people in positions of power and influence in the city were making some serious mistakes, but in all my life I never dreamed it would end up this bad. Who was it the said “Pity poor Bradford ” Possibly he was not reffering to the English Civil War.

  2. Being from Bradford myself, I have noticed the amount of shops that have closed down which makes it look like a ghost town. When the German market was in Bradford, I was looking around and like you have stated, it was dead. It was a real shame too but things have changed so much over the last few years, it’s upsetting really.

  3. I like the christmas markets in the UK, the Hyde Park one is amazing!

  4. I think that they’re over-rated, although they’re kind of fun you can get all of the things that they offer throughout the year.
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  5. We used to have a little christmas market at the school that I work at, but even that has been cancelled for 2010 and 2011 christmases.