Two of Aberdeen’s most popular annual events – Spectra festival of light and the Christmas Village – are to go out to tender for operators.

Aberdeen City Council’s Finance and Resources Committee unanimously approved a recommendation for the two events which drive residents and visitors into the city centre during the winter.

The tender for Spectra, Scotland’s festival of light 2024, is for a production delivery contract of an accessible programme of temporary public art lightworks within the city centre. The programme will make best use of sites and city centre spaces such as Union Terrace Gardens, reflecting Aberdeen’s cultural history, heritage and sense of place to create a family-friendly event to drive footfall to the city.

The contract for the Christmas Village is to secure an operator for the event with attractions located on a suitable city centre site, allowing adequate, accessible and secure space for the market, food and beverage offer, ice rink, and attractions.

The Spectra contract would be for 12 months from 2023 (for the 2024 festival) with a potential 12-month extension and the Christmas Village is from 2024 to 2025 with a potential 24-month extension to 2027.

Committee Convener Council Alex McLellan said: “Spectra and the Christmas Village are two very important highlights in our events calendar enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors to our beautiful and historic city.

“They both drive footfall into the city centre during the winter and are good, fun, family-friendly events so we look forward to inviting companies to tender for running them.”

Spectra, which is held in February, features a stunning display of light installations around the city centre providing a high-quality free experience for families across the north-east while benefitting local businesses.

The Christmas Village is held usually from mid-November to the end of December and includes festive food and drink, an ice rink, fun showground rides for all ages, and a Christmas market of local goods for sale.

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