Plans are being drawn up to expand Aberdeen’s Christmas village attraction this year.
Last night Aberdeen Inspired chief executive Adrian Watson said the organisation was looking for “an increased footprint” for next year’s attraction following “pretty positive” feedback.
A new report will be presented to councillors next week based on 385 surveys on visitors to the Broad Street attraction.
The study, conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, shows that 74% of visitors rated the village as “good or excellent” and 82% “strongly agreed” they would like to see it return.
But while 2016’s attraction had a gross economic impact of £21.1 million for the city, the 2017 village figure was £10.4 million – meaning that after costs the village brought in around £500,000 net boost compared to 2016’s £1.7 million.
The inaugural 2015 village was held in Union Terrace but was last year moved to Broad Street – while work was ongoing on the £3.2 million partial pedestrianisation project.
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Temporary surfacing had to be laid which led to further delays on the scheme.
Mr Watson said: “There is something about the change of location that had an effect which we expected a bit.
“We still had very healthy numbers all round. Next year we are looking at an increased footprint for the event – we are taking the feedback onboard.”
Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill said last year’s offering was “disappointing” and called for more local produce and fewer fair rides.
He said: “There was a problem with expensive bars and outlets when places nearer by were more affordable.
“I think people want a very unique offering with stalls which sell things including arts and crafts and food products from the north-east.”
SNP councillor Alex Nicoll said: “Many of the figures are far from positive and that appears to reflect the views of many members of the public who have made it particularly clear that the offering at the village was far from what it could be.”
But council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “We have created Broad Street as an events space, and with the new workers at Marischal Square, I think the event will be much better this year.”