A Christmas parade which has been running for more than 20 years has been cancelled.
The Trinity Centre’s Santa and reindeer parade will not take place in Aberdeen this year, the Evening Express can reveal.
The event will not be held due to a lack of funding.
The Union Street parade has been supported by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired in previous years.
However, they are no longer involved in the event.
The council and business improvement district body said funding will not be provided towards the event this year to cover the cost of the road closure and security.
Both Aberdeen Inspired and the council offered Trinity Centre support and advice on how to seek alternative funding streams through grants and sponsorship. However, the Trinity Centre has not secured this and cannot make up the shortfall.
Shopping centre general manager Linda Stewart said she was disappointed for the city and was hoping for a “Christmas miracle”.
She said: “It’s really disappointing. Over the years there has been around 30,000 people on Union Street for the event.
“We tied it in with the Christmas light switch-on, so customers who came into the city to watch the parade would hang about and the whole city benefited from it.
“Nobody is more disappointed than we are. We’ve looked at every avenue and we simply can’t afford it.”
Linda said last year’s parade cost the centre around £11,000, excluding the road closure cost which was funded by the council.
Aberdeen Inspired covered the cost of security from 2014-17.
The approximate cost of a road closure on Union Street for a parade or procession totals around £4,000 and security usually costs £2,500-£3,000.
The council advised Trinity bosses they could apply for a community grant to cover the cost of the road closure, as they would not be able to fund it again. The Trinity Centre did not apply this year.
Linda said: “The council advised us to apply for the grant last year. We sent in the form on October 31, but then it came back rejected.” The council later agreed to cover the cost of the road closure and the parade went ahead.
Linda said: “We didn’t think to apply this year as why would it be granted when it was rejected last year?” She added: “We’ve been looking for a Christmas miracle.”
Aberdeen Inspired bosses said they advised the centre to seek “alternative funding”, potentially in the form of sponsorship. But the centre did not manage to secure any.
An Aberdeen Inspired spokeswoman said: “Our joint position with the Trinity Centre and Aberdeen City Council was agreed last year and advice was given on alternative funding streams for the parade. As was recently announced, we have, along with partners, committed to a strong Christmas offering for the city and will continue to listen to feedback on how we can maximise opportunities for our levy-paying businesses and the public.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The community grant is the fund that the Trinity Centre has applied to and received funding from in previous years.
“The council’s City Events team advised the Trinity Centre earlier this year to apply through this process. No further communication was received from the Trinity Centre.
“Aberdeen City Council cannot comment on whether the application would be successful as the council’s finance team would need to review the application in accordance with the stipulated funding criteria.”