THE Handlebar Café will host artists, crafters and entrepreneurs at its first Christmas market.

The event comes after the café on St Catherine’s Hill has been affected by ongoing road closures due to bridge replacement work on Garnier Road.

The road is scheduled to be closed until February next year, with reduced footfall in the area.

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Café manager Lee Banks said: “After a difficult year, due to the road closure, we are pleased to host a community event with local businesses and charities coming together to celebrate Christmas.

“We want to highlight the wonder of the season and offer a creative alternative to the busy Cathedral Christmas Market.”

The Handlebar Café is part of the Bespoke Biking social enterprise, which donates its profits towards supporting cycling in Winchester. The charity has helped to provide six refurbished bikes to young people in need by working with local charity Friends of the Family, who will be exhibiting at the market.

Alongside local charities, the market will have pet photography, artwork, food and crafts all on offer.

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Meanwhile, the café will be serving hot turkey rolls alongside special seasonal hot chocolates.

Heather Evans, director of Bespoke Biking, said: “We hope the market will be an alternative showcasing local businesses, crafts and charities. We hope people will stop by on their way to the city centre and find something different and joyous to celebrate the season.”

The market will be open from 9am to 4pm on December 9 and December 10.