City centre to be lit up to bring festive cheer this winter

Aberdeen City Council’s City Growth and Resources Committee today approved plans for dazzling lights to bring a festive feel to the city centre this winter and ease the gloom of Covid-19.

The Committee confirmed that the hugely popular Christmas Village and much-loved carol concerts, nativity service, and Hogmanay celebrations are cancelled this year due to the impact of the pandemic and the importance of following Scottish Government guidance in the interest of public safety.

In their place, a new trail of festive dressing decoration and lighting will adorn an expanded area of the city centre this year in addition to the traditional Christmas lights down the length of Union Street, which itself, will be enhanced further by three artificial 9.5 metre high Christmas trees in the Spaces for People pedestrian area between Market Street and Bridge Street .

The artificial trees will also be located in St Nicholas Street, George Street and The Green which will also be lit up by 1000 white lights on the area’s trees helping to show off the surrounding NUART work to its best effect.

Lighting will also lead the way from The Green to Correction Wynd which will, in turn, be adorned in festoon lighting. Broad Street will welcome back the three Christmas trees outside Marischal College and also see a welcoming giant Santa and arched lighting on the raised green performance area.

Column mounted lighting will also be a striking feature in George Street, Guild Street, Thistle Street, Rose Street and Chapel Street.

The traditional Nativity Scene will make its return to St Nicholas Kirkyard.

Committee Convener and Council Co Leader, Douglas Lumsden, said: “We are committed to providing the people of Aberdeen with the brightest Festive period possible while also following the guidance to ensure everyone’s safety.

“I am sure that the trail of lights we are installing along large parts of the city centre will prove a great attraction and help lift everyone’s spirits”

As part of the winter offering, the popular HAAN Christmas Design Market which is traditionally also a feature of the city’s Winter Programme will this year have a pop-up event between 27-29 November at the stunning new Aberdeen Art Gallery, recently named joint winner of the UK’s Museum of the Year award.

Councillor Lumsden added: “What better setting for local designers to showcase their work than our award-winning gallery? I know that the pop-up event will be welcomed by everyone who loves the HAAN Christmas Design Market”.

The committee members also agreed to give grants from Winter Festival funds not being spent to community groups, and to Northsound’s Cash for Kids and Original 106 Christmas Appeal to help the most disadvantaged in our communities.