Plans for new indoor Christmas market in Aberdeen

Plans have been announced for an indoor market in Aberdeen city centre this Christmas.

Aberdeen Inspired is partnering with Bon Accord and Charlie House to offer space to local makers and businesses to set up shop as part of Aberdeen Christmas Market.

The market will be located in a retail unit on the lower level of Bon Accord, next to Topshop and behind Costa Coffee, and similarly to the Christmas in the Quad market in previous years, will offer a platform for crafts and products to be sold from Scottish producers.

Aberdeen Inspired has opened applications for interested businesses to apply for a stall and is asking for a set donation to charity partner Charlie House to secure a space.

Organisers say the event will be run in accordance with Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance for the retail sector.

Adrian Watson, Aberdeen Inspired chief executive, said: "While the festive season won’t be quite the same as previous years for us all, we hope our Aberdeen Christmas Market will bring some much needed cheer to the city centre during a very difficult time.

"As well as providing a platform for a wide range of fantastic local businesses, we hope this market will also help bring footfall back into the city centre in a safe way and encourage people to think and support local not just in the build-up to Christmas, but all year round and help our local economy.

"In addition to that, we are pleased to be supporting Charlie House through the market, and hope that the donations will go some way to help as it too has been affected by a downturn in income.

"We all know the difficulties that businesses across a range of sectors in the city centre continue to face, and we want to encourage people to support them at this time when they most need it and shop local.

"We are currently looking for local businesses interested in this opportunity and would urge those interested in taking part in the market to get in touch with us."

Craig Stevenson, Bon Accord manager, said: "It has been fantastic to have the opportunity to host Aberdeen’s Christmas Market at Bon Accord.

"We always look for ways to surprise and delight our visitors and this is no exception. The Christmas market will be in support of our partner charity Charlie House, a fantastic local cause."

Susan Crighton, director of fundraising for Charlie House, said: "We are very grateful to be the main charity beneficiary of this year’s Aberdeen Christmas Market, in association with Aberdeen Inspired and Bon Accord.

"At a time when the charity sector is under great pressure from lack of funds, this is fantastic news for both Charlie House and the families we support.

"Our funds are down by 70% against last year and the requests for our support are up 84%. We rely on our annual events, donations, corporate support and our amazing fundraisers every year to enable us to have the funds to offer our free support services to north-east families. Sadly, the majority of these funding streams are currently cut off due to the pandemic and the resulting Government restrictions.

"At the moment the world feels very different and as we adapt to a new kind of normal, having that festive magic and the ability to purchase and support local is wonderful.

"Charlie House is delighted to be involved and we look forward to having further presence in the Bon Accord in addition to ReCHarge Café and Santa’s workshop.

"We will also have a team within the market selling our fantastic charity merchandise and Christmas gifts - from cards, to limited edition Christmas baubles, to children’s books and sweet festive treats.

"The profits from the sale of all of these items will enable us to continue our work and support babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, and their families, in the north-east."

Chris Foy, CEO of VisitAberdeenshire, said: "This year emphasised that shopping local and experiencing what lies in our own backyard have been essential elements to support the area’s recovery, and at Christmas, this is has never been more prevalent. 

"We’ve asked locals to rediscover what’s great about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and this year’s Christmas market will be a welcome addition to the festive offering for people in the region."

The market will run from Thursday to Sunday, from the last weekend in November until the weekend before Christmas, and from Monday December 21 to Wednesday December 23.

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