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Shoppers will have the chance to choose handmade gifts, unique pieces of art and locally crafted food and drink at this year’s Curated in the Quad Christmas market, which opens today at Aberdeen’s Marischal College.

More than 70 small businesses are preparing to sell their wares over the next few weeks, with visitors being urged to shop local this year and support independent traders as well as the city centre.

Among this weekend’s stallholders will be Cove Honeybees, which sells locally produced honey, locally made sterling silver jewellery from 1323 Jewellery, artisan fusion food from Zepice, including chilli pastes, curry powders, seasonings and spice blends, and craft gin and vodka created by Kincardine-based Esker Spirits.

The Curated in the Quad market is being organised by Charlie House in partnership with Aberdeen Inspired.

Each weekend in the run up to Christmas will feature a different line-up of new and established brands, who will be selling their unique finds from wooden cabins adorned with twinkling fairy lights.

Proceeds will go to Charlie House, a local children's charity that aims to improve the quality of life for babies, children and young people in the north-east of Scotland who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and provide support to their families.

As the city centre Business Improvement District (BID), Aberdeen Inspired is supporting the planned festive events in the city centre as well as promoting the Aberdeen Gift Card, which is accepted in many local outlets and allows the recipient to choose their own present.

Chief executive Adrian Watson said: “After a very challenging 18 months and a quieter Christmas last year due to the pandemic, it is fantastic to see the Curated in the Quad market returning to Aberdeen’s city centre as part of the wider Christmas Village festivities on Broad Street.

“The outdoor market will offer shoppers the chance to pick up unusual gifts, clothing, food and drink that have been produced locally, while also raising funds for our event partner Charlie House.

“Together with Aberdeen’s wider retail offering, bars and restaurants, the market and Christmas Village will bring families and friends together to spend time in the city centre. More than ever this year, we encourage people to visit Aberdeen to enjoy a festive day out, soak up the atmosphere and shop local to support jobs and businesses.”

The market will showcase the products and services from around 23 stallholders each weekend, as well as Charlie House’s own charity merchandise stall.

Its Big Build Appeal is raising £8million for a dedicated support centre in Aberdeen.

Louise Andrew, chief executive of Charlie House, said: “We are incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to manage Curated in the Quad by Aberdeen Inspired, making a fantastic addition to our range of festive events taking place over in the lead up to Christmas.

“The team at Charlie House would like to give thanks to Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council, Codona’s, the public and stallholders for their ongoing support of our charity. Their help allows us continue our important work with children and families in the local community and work toward our longer-term goal of establishing a specialist support centre right here in Aberdeen.”

Previous outdoor Christmas in the Quad markets were held in 2018 and 2019, attracting thousands of visitors.

Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson, Councillor Marie Boulton, said: “It’s fantastic to have the Curated in the Quad Christmas Market returning this year to our festive events line up. It promises to be a wonderful addition to the Christmas Village offering and will bring some much-needed festive cheer.

  “It’s wonderful to see so many local producers and businesses attending each weekend to sell festive and unique gifts, there really is something for everyone.  

“Collaborative working is vital to the success of events like our festive line-up, and through our Aberdeen 365 Events Programme, partnerships such as the one we have with Aberdeen Inspired demonstrates the success we can achieve when working together.” 

The Curated in the Quad market will run from 12pm to 7pm on Fridays, 11am to 7pm on Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays, from today, November 19 until December 19.

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  • The current list of stallholders for this weekend (November 19-21) is Charlie House; 1323 Jewellery; AM Craft House; Arts Cricket; Brave Art Design; Colour Rosie; Coullie Candles; Cove Honeybees; Crystal Kalm; Dizzy Sweets; Esker Spirits; Foghouse Spirits; Heavenly Favours/Rita Colvin; Jade Elizabeth; Joan’s Gems; Juliethh Pattiserie / Johnny Forbes; Pilgrim’s Gin; Raw Culture; Smarty Marty’s Wax Melts; Palm Safe; Sweet Toots Cakery; and Zespice.