Aberdeen’s Christmas Village will not run this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Evening Express can reveal.
Councillors on the city council’s strategic commissioning committee this afternoon decided to cancel the event in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is unclear whether the village, which last year was held in Broad Street, Upperkirkgate and the Quad at Marischal College, will return in 2021.
The annual event takes in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and is run in partnership between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Inspired and Codonas.
A council spokeswoman said: “The strategic commissioning committee agreed that due to issues relating to Covid-19, it will recommend to the city growth and resources committee that council no longer proceeds with a Christmas Village for 2020 as planned.
“Aberdeen City Council will continue to work with Aberdeen Inspired and other stakeholders to consider alternative uses for the funding budgeted to support the city centre at Christmas and report back to City Growth and Resources Committee in due course.”
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, who sits on the committee, said: “It’s very sad to have to cancel because there are a lot of people who really enjoy the Christmas Village.
“But it’s the right thing to do. There’s no way it could have gone ahead with so much uncertainty, and there is just too much risk with the Covid-19 situation.
“Hopefully it can come back stronger next year when the situation is a bit clearer.”
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “I think we all understand the issues that Covid-19 currently presents to large scale events of this nature and we respect the Council’s direction today.
“As indicated, we will work with them and other partners in looking to safely bring an alternative Christmas offering to the city centre this year, that will also look to support our local businesses at a time when it is most needed.”
He added that it was too soon to tell about whether the market would return next year