It may only be March but plans are already progressing for the return of Aberdeen’s Christmas Village – and this year it could expand into Union Terrace Gardens.
Aberdeen City Council has unveiled proposals for the 2023 event, scheduled to open on November 16.
The popular annual festive village will remain on Broad Street and the Curated in the Quad market will also make a comeback.
However the local authority has outlined a number of “opportunities” that could see the event expanded into the recently revamped Union Terrace Gardens.
The city centre park reopened just three days before Christmas last year following £30 million refurbishment works.
What has been planned for Union Terrace Gardens?
Proposals include relocating the nativity scene to the gardens.
Last year, the scene had to be moved to an empty shop unit on Union Street after it was targeted by vandals at St Nicholas Kirkyard.
Visitors could follow the QR code-enabled Christmas sculpture trail around the gardens and up to the Christmas Village on Broad Street.
Local hot food vendors and market traders could set up shop in the gardens on the three weekends prior to Christmas.
Meanwhile, community-led events could take place in the park including carol singing and other live performances.
The council is also looking to add a more festive atmosphere to the park by adapting existing lighting and could potentially add new Christmas lights.
How much will the Aberdeen Christmas Village cost?
The popular annual event could cost the council up to £200,000 to host.
As part of the local authority’s recently approved budget, councillors agreed to set aside £150,000 from the Common Good Fund for the Christmas Village.
An extra £50,000 is expected to come from event partner Aberdeen Inspired.
And the council will look to gain grant funding for additional festive lights in Union Terrace Gardens.
But if Aberdeen Inspired don’t stump up the cash, the council will need to either find the money elsewhere or look at putting on a “reduced” event.
Residents and businesses support Aberdeen Christmas Village
The plans for this year’s event come as officers revealed feedback from the 2022 Christmas Village.
A report by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce stated that 88% of visitors rated the market as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
Meanwhile 94% of Curated in the Quad stallholders said the event was good for their business.
While 86% of businesses believed the Christmas Village gave a boost to the city centre.
The feedback report will be considered by members of the finance and resources committee next Wednesday.