TRADERS who feared they were not invited to participate in Ringwood’s revamped Christmas celebrations have been reassured after the Journal stepped in.

Town clerk Steve Nash’s initial letter about the new look festivities had led many independents to believe stalls in the Christmas market were already booked, and they were not invited.

But, after hearing the concerns from traders, the Journal contacted Mr Nash, who said: “I am sorry that I have not made it abundantly clear that I want everybody to get involved.

“I want all the business, the shops and companies who want a stall to tell me. I want everyone who wants to be involved to get in touch. I want Christmas in Ringwood to be a big, community event."

A second letter was due to be sent to traders on Tuesday, complete with a booking form.

Fears that local traders were to be excluded from having a stall in the Christmas market on December 6, were raised when the details of the celebrations were outlined in a letter from the town council that traders received last month.

There was no invitation for shop owners to have stalls or get involved in other entertainment - instead, traders were asked to get in touch with the council with any concerns they may have over the road closures.

And from the letter, it appeared that independent company, IES and not local traders, were organising the bulk of the festivities and stalls.

Steve Smith of Tulip Crafts said: "From the letter we received, it appears that independent company IES will be organising the stalls, face painting, bouncy castle and street entertainment.

"We are a new craft business and it looks like IES are organising 18 craft stalls yet we had not been approached. We very much want to be involved but that will depend on cost. It is reassuring that another letter will be sent, however it would be nice if it went to local craftspeople too, not just shop keepers or businesses."