North-east residents and visitors flocked to Aberdeen Christmas Village over the festive period, boosting footfall in the city centre through November and December.
Around 400,000 visits were made to the Christmas village at its new site on Aberdeen’s Broad Street and Marischal College Quad between November 17 and December 31.
Led by Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Codona’s the winter attraction, which had previously been held on Union Terrace, is part of the city’s winter offering and is the second biggest in Scotland.
Research conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) over the festive period has highlighted that 40% of respondents said that the Christmas village was their main reason for being in the city centre.
Of those interviewed, 71% had visited Aberdeen Christmas village last year and 82% said that they’d like to see it repeated in the city next year. Moreover, a total of 74% of visitors rated the village as excellent or good overall, up from 67% in 2016.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Early feedback from the AGCC evaluation has been generally positive for the Christmas village again this year which is pleasing after we had to move from Union Terrace to Broad Street.
“However, we understand that this has been a transitional year and we need to enhance the village on what will be a fully refurbished Broad Street. The introduction of curated markets in the Marischal College quadrangle seems to have been well received, but we need to improve connectivity with Broad Street in the year to come.
“A number of local businesses have contacted us in recent weeks to share the positive difference they noticed throughout the festive period, but again I believe there is still a bit to do.
“There ought to be a more settled feel to the Christmas village when it returns in November and we are working with our partners to assess what worked well and what needs to be improved. We will not be complacent and will look to build on the quality of the event even further this year.”
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen Business Improvement District (BID) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.
Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. Due to its on-going success, the organisation won 2017 European BID of the Year in July.