I SHOULD like to respond to the letter from Chris White of Poole (Daily Echo, December 28) concerning allowing musicians to play in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens during Christmas Tree Wonderland.

He is obviously aware of the huge popularity of the Christmas Tree Wonderland which has increased footfall in our town centre over the Christmas period and has been enjoyed by thousands of our residents and visitors. The increased footfall has brought a commercial success to our town centre that bucks the national trend.

The bandstand in the Lower Gardens was converted into a Santa’s Grotto and a stage was provided in the Square where live entertainment took place throughout the festive season.

We aimed and I hope succeeded in improving the Christmas Market, the music stage in the Square and the presentation of the various food and drink offerings of the Christmas Market, we also expanded the ice rink in the Gardens.

We decided that it was important to segregate the various activities as much as possible, so as to leave the Lower Gardens focused on the lights and Christmas Trees.

We will, of course, be undertaking a full review of all Christmas activities and the Christmas Tree Wonderland in particular.

There is no place for complacency and we will examine the feasibility of the bandstand to be used as a music stage without it confusing the overall presentation.

Please be assured our main focus will be to provide a successful and improving event which will attract hundreds of thousands of people to Bournemouth and maintain our position as the UK's number one resort, summer and winter.


Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Tourism & The Arts

Bournemouth council,

Bournemouth Town Hall