A Market Rasen town councillor has sparked debate by claiming that the popular Boxing Day races - which draw more than 7,000 people into the town each year - makes ‘absolutely no difference’ to local traders.
The annual event was a hot topic at the latest town council meeting, after Coun Jennifer Bone - who runs the Ministry of Happiness gift shop in the town centre - said: “I would say that it doesn’t matter how many people are coming in on a race day, it makes absolutely no difference to traders in the town.”
Coun Bone argued that it is only pubs and takeaways that benefit from increased visitor numbers.
She said: “If all you want to do is increase trade for pubs and chip shops, then race day is fantastic.
“But, if you want any of your other businesses to survive, then the race days are making absolutely no difference to the rest of us.”
After the meeting, the Rasen Mail contacted Market Rasen Racecourse for a comment.
General Manager Nadia Powell made it clear that she believes the Boxing Day races do have a beneficial impact.
She said: “The Boxing Day racing at Market Rasen is one of the annual highlights for many racing fans, as well as for families who seek a lovely sporting day out in the fresh air after the Christmas Day festivities.
“The event draws well over 7,000 racegoers into the town on December 26 every year.
“It is no surprise that businesses in the town which are trading on the day after Christmas, benefit from these visitors.”
The Rasen Mail also spoke to Darren Lince, who owns The Advocate Arms restaurant and hotel in Queen Street.
Mr Lince said: “Certainly from the businesses that I own we see an uplift in those that offer accommodation, but not those that are just bars.
“However, to make the point as to how the other businesses are affected - none of them are open, so what would you expect?
“I think the Boxing Day race meeting is vital for the course and hope that this continues for years to come.”