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Published on 27 March 2020



Carlisle International Market:

The market is being held following the lifting of restrictions by the government which now allows outdoor markets to re-open. All traders attending this year’s market are resident in the UK. The event organiser is not permitting any traders from outside the UK to take part in the market.

The open-air market is set to return to Carlisle city centre between Thursday 27 and Monday 31 August.

Organised by Market Place Europe. there will be changes to how the market operates to keep shoppers and traders safe. There will be increased space between the stalls to maintain social distancing, as part of the government’s Track and Trace, staff will take details of patrons using their bar and food court areas on entering, they will also reduce the amount of seating within these areas and ensure it is well spread out so family/friends groupings can maintain their social bubbles. They will also increase their cleaning and disinfection routines.

Hand sanitisers will be available for customers in addition to the hand sanitiser stations installed in Carlisle city centre. Customers will be encouraged to make cashless payments.

Shoppers will be spoilt for choice with a huge mix of authentic continental treats in the city centre. Stalls will be open between:

  • Thursday 27 August: 9am - 6pm.
  • Friday 28 August: 9am - 6pm.
  • Saturday 29 August: 9am - 6pm.
  • Sunday 30 August: 10am - 5pm.
  • Bank Holiday Monday: 10am - 5pm.

An ancient Proclamation will be recited from the top of the steps of the Old Town Hall on Saturday, 29 August at 10am. The Proclamation is a declaration of Carlisle City Council’s right to hold an annual Fair in August, originally granted to the citizens of Carlisle in 1352 by Edward III.

Also in the city centre on the first Saturday of each month is the Carlisle Farmers and Producers’ Market. At the market they showcase the very best the local area has to offer. Everything is grown, reared, produced or crafted by the stallholders themselves and gives customers the opportunity to find out more about the food and products they buy directly from source whilst supporting local businesses. The market is run by Sustainable Brampton.


The following events were cancelled or postponed:

  • 3 April - Carlisle Easter International Market, Carlisle city centre.
  • 3 - 13 April - Easter Fair, Castle car park.
  • 8 - 10 May VE Day programme of events, Carlisle city centre (postponed).
  • 9 May - Skate Jam, Bitts Park.
  • 13 May - Urban Trail Run Carlisle City Centre, Bitts Park and Rickerby Park.
  • 25 May - Upperby Gala, Hammonds’ Pond.
  • 13 June - Cumberland Show, Brisco.
  • 12 July - Race for Life and Pretty Muddy, Bitts Park and Sheepmount (postponed)


Fireshow and Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch-On

This November’s Fireshow and Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch-On events are set to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A decision has been taken to cancel both events as they attract thousands of spectators from across the region and the safety of the spectators cannot be guaranteed. Social distancing within both venues would not be possible.

The Fireshow, which was to be held in Bitts Park on Saturday 7 November, was expected to attract more than 35,000 people from across the region. The family event takes more than six months to organise and involves partners from a range of agencies including the emergency services.

The Christmas Lights Switch-On is usually held in the city centre and this year, was scheduled to take place on Sunday 15 November. The city centre will continue to have lights installed but with no open-air event. The event was also expected to attract thousands of spectators.


The Old Fire Station is closed and has postponed all shows.


Tourism nformation

Support and advice for tourism businesses is available at:


Tourism operators hoping to benefit from additional funding to aid small business recovery can now make an application.

Businesses need to demonstrate a 40% loss of income due to COVID 19 between March and June, 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. The 100% grant funding support will be delivered through Cumbria Growth Hub.

The funding can be used for:

  • 1-2-1 specialist advice which SMEs could call on to address immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID 19 e.g. HR, accountants, legal, financial, H&S, IT / digital or sector specialists etc. 
  • For the visitor economy, this could include supporting SMEs with productivity improvements such as enhanced use of digital tools including yield management software, mentoring, networking or other measures.
  • It can also support or develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy – for example, new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are critical to the visitor experience; and / or the purchase of minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to deliver business activity or diversify in response to COVID 19.”

The work cannot have already taken place and three quotes are needed to support the application. Cumbria Growth Hub can offer between £1,000 and £3,000 (with a few exceptions of up to £5,000).

Eligible businesses should email [email protected] to be allocated a place in the queue. They then have a two week window to submit their application and associated paperwork.

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