A CHRISTMAS market has been given the green light as part of a major city centre development project.

Brighton and Hove’s Christmas market will be free to attend and will run for three festive seasons, starting this year, from November 26 to December 31.

The plan is part of the new Valley Gardens project, which started in September 2018, aiming to radically change the space between St Peter’s Church and Brighton Palace Pier.

The market will be operated by Brighton company E3 Events, who has experience running the Brighton Half Marathon.

According to the city council, it will offer a mixture of retail stalls, food and drink, entertainment and attractions.

READ MORE >> What next for the Valley Gardens project in Brighton?

Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chairman of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee, said: “Events, retail and hospitality play such a major part in the life of our city and the sector has experienced severe losses during the pandemic.

“While we cannot be complacent about the case rates we are facing today in our city, we are hoping to be able to support an offer of outdoor events by the end of this year to aid the recovery.

"And if everyone plays their part then hopefully a more normal life for the city will arrive by Christmas time.

“Growing the offer for the city at Christmas time has been a long-standing ambition of ours and the Christmas market will provide opportunities for local suppliers and offer a wonderful winter attraction for residents and visitors.

“We received seven strong bids to operate the market and I thank them for their interest and the Business Improvement District for being part of the panel to evaluate the bids.”

The Argus:

Last month, Brighton and Hove City Council announced work on the final stage of the Valley Gardens project will begin later this year.

Phases one and two of the three-stage scheme have been completed, with new road layouts, green spaces, bike lanes and pathways introduced between The Level and Old Steine.

Phase two was completed last summer, with major strides made during the first national lockdown as the amount of traffic on the roads fell dramatically.

The third stage will focus on the area from Old Steine to the Palace Pier, where the roundabout is being replaced with a new junction.