ORGANISERS of a Christmas festival that turned a historic garden into a "muddy quagmire" say they are "happy to learn lessons" amid calls for it to be moved.

Brighton Christmas Festival has come under pressure to move away from Valley Gardens and Old Steine Gardens after residents were left frustrated by last year's event.

Several new locations have been suggested, including Madeira Drive, which plays host to dozens of events each year.

Now, festival bosses said they are "happy to learn lessons" from the event's debut year and are open to "engage in positive conversations" regarding a change in location.

David Hill, CEO of E3 Events, said: "We are happy to work with the council - and indeed the wider community - to make the Brighton Christmas Festival 2022 the huge success I am sure it will be.

"We faced a series of challenges in 2021, which we managed to overcome, but I have already said we are happy to learn lessons, having listened to various groups and individuals.

"We are happy to engage in positive conversations regarding the best location for this year."

It comes after the founder of a residents' association said the festival left the historic public gardens in the city centre looking like a "Siberian gulag".

Gary Farmer, founder of the Old Steine Community Association, said that the gardens have been turned into a "quagmire of mud, water, tyre tracks, broken branches, destroyed plants and trenches" after the festival came to an end.

Other residents had raised concerns about noise and music coming from the festival late at night, particularly from the range of funfair rides at Old Steine Gardens.

The market is set to return for the next two years - but some people living in the area want the council to reconsider this decision.

Councillors have approved organisers E3 Events to run the Christmas market for three years.

More than 131,000 people visited the festival's Christmas market alone and was named one of the best in the UK.

A council spokesman previously said: "The Valley Gardens area has been a popular location for the city's night-time economy for many years.

"We have recently improved St Peter's Square as an events space. It is used at key times of the year, such as the Brighton Festival and the festive season.

"After a challenging year for everyone in the city, we've been pleased to see a new winter event attract footfall and interest.

"The council aims to manage a balance between a successful events programme in the city centre and the views of residents.

"Plans for reinstating the physical areas affected by events are always included in our permissions for events to go ahead, and the Christmas festival is no exception.

"Grassy areas that become muddy or dry out are given time to grow back. Obviously this is a gradual process, particularly at this time of year.

"The organisers of the Christmas Festival event had a noise management plan agreed with our environmental health team. The organisers took noise meter readings throughout the event, each night on agreed points around the site.

"We found no evidence that they exceeded agreed volume levels.

"Councillors granted permission for this event last year on a three-year basis. We will be reviewing the success of this first event in due course, taking into account feedback from the event organisers and residents."