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XpoNorth's Christmas market returns to showcase Highlands and Islands creatives

By Calum MacLeod

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Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at HIE.
Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at HIE.

XpoNorth is calling on the public to support local Highlands and Islands makers as they get ready for the festival season with the return of its Christmas Marketplace.

XpoNorth is expanding its seasonal showcase of Highlands and Islands products, which will be enhanced with the addition of exclusive festive themed interviews and workshops to help support the local creative economy after another tough year for local independent businesses.

Applications open this Friday, October 8, for creative businesses based in the region to apply to be a part of the XpoNorth Christmas Marketplace.

In the lead up to Christmas and across the festive season, XpoNorth will be promoting talented businesses in the Highlands and Islands region, highlighting their products and championing buying local.

With the effects of the pandemic still being felt by many in the creative industries, it is hoped the XpoNorth Christmas Marketplace will provide much needed support to Highlands and Islands businesses during this crucial trading time, providing increased website traffic over the festive season with no fees involved. The campaign will run from November 15 to December 17, ensuring plenty of time for shoppers to bag the perfect Christmas gift.

Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at Highlands and Islands Enterprise and co-founder of XpoNorth, said: “Despite the challenges Covid-19 has given us, the Highlands and Islands continues to impress with its high calibre of creative businesses and this Christmas it is vital we support our hugely talented makers by buying local and ensuring they thrive as we approach 2022.

“We were inundated with businesses looking to participate last year and are looking forward to receiving this year’s applications to make this Christmas Marketplace our best yet for businesses and consumers alike.”

Carrie Paxton from Carrie Paxton Designs, who participated in last year’s XpoNorth Christmas Marketplace, said: “Christmas 2020 was a very uncertain time for all small businesses. I had a successful season which was boosted considerably by XpoNorth's support and promotion.”

Applications open on Friday for businesses in the creative industry and food and beverage industry.

Those interested in applying should visit www.xponorth.co.uk for details on how to apply.

The closing date is Friday October 29.

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