Aberdeen Inspired works hard to be the positive and strong voice for our city centre at a time when it is most needed. We not only deliver on the ground but strategically influence at a local, national and international level for the best interests of our city. We hope you find this latest update on our work of value, our CEO Adrian Watson and the team appreciate your continued support and would welcome any feedback to bring our city centre forward. We are available to meet one to one with levy payers or as part of our business network meetings to discuss future plans and any issues you may wish to raise.

Strong support shown for ‘Back The Bid’ campaign

Last month we launched our ‘Back The Bid’ campaign aimed at making levy payers aware of the importance of voting in the ballot to determine the future of Aberdeen Inspired.

The public backing shown by a wide range of independent and national organisations and business leaders from across all sectors of in Aberdeen has been strong and we are thankful to them for taking the time to publicly state their support.

A successful ballot on June 24 will ensure we can continue to provide much-needed support for the city centre businesses and wider North-east, influence policy at both a local and national level and attract, sustain and boost investment in Aberdeen’s city centre for the benefit of levy payers and the city at large

Local lad and business owner at Café 52, Steve Bothwell praised the BID for initiatives such as the Inspired Nights on The Green street food festival and international street art festival Nuart Aberdeen, which have both brought thousands of visitors to The Green and the surrounding area and provided positive economic benefits to the city.

Chris Foy, chief executive officer of VisitAberdeenshire believes the work being done by Aberdeen Inspired makes the city an attractive location for tourists.

“People don’t just visit cities. They need great reasons to decide where to spend their time and money. In recent years, the work of Aberdeen Inspired has been at the heart of providing reasons to choose Aberdeen,” he said.

Ryan Manson, general manager at Union Square, said restoring confidence and supporting businesses was essential.

“The last year has been undeniably tough but has also really highlighted the importance of community and supporting one another. As restrictions ease and Aberdeen comes to life once again, Aberdeen Inspired's work to create an experience to be proud of in the heart of our city is more important than ever,” he said.

Two former chairpersons of Aberdeen Inspired have also added their support to the Back the BID campaign. John Michie, of Charles Michie pharmacy on Union Street, started the BID in 2011. He said: "Since the BID was formed it has built essential partnerships that are key and it acts as a facilitator and the glue for the city centre. It is absolutely imperative that Aberdeen Inspired continues and I would urge anyone who has not yet voted to take the opportunity to vote in favour of retaining the BID."

Richard Noble, managing director of FG Burnett, said: "The prospect of not having Aberdeen Inspired around does not bear thinking about - if Aberdeen Inspired was not here we wouldn't have access to additional funding for improvements to the city centre and events which bring footfall. The BID has also been instrumental in shaping the city centre masterplan and is a credible voice for the city, with its finger on the pulse."
With just one week to go until the vote closes, we urge you to return all your ballot slips as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already.

We’ also like to take this opportunity to thank all our 800 or so levy payers, supporters and partners for allowing us to work tirelessly on behalf of the city since 2010 and we hope to be able to continue to work on their behalf and drive forward our agenda to help the city recover, reinvent and revive over the next 5 years.

Read all of the coverage from our Back The Bid campaign here.

Make your voice heard on the City Centre Masterplan
Aberdeen Inspired is committed to making sure our city centre is a place where people want to work, stay, study, play and visit and that the people of Aberdeen ought to be proud of all it has to offer and enjoy spending time and money with the businesses who make up the vibrant heart of our city.

The Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) was first approved in 2015 and has seen the delivery of a revamped Aberdeen Art Gallery and Music Hall, Marischal Square, Broad Street and over the coming months we will see completion of Provost Skene’s House and the regeneration of Union Terrace Gardens.

However, Aberdeen Inspired is acutely aware of the general challenge to the ‘high street’ and that there is still much to do in revitalising our city centre. Of course, we welcome Aberdeen City Council’s £150 million commitment to the CCMP and will work with them in securing additional national funding to support this development.

Aberdeen City Council has launched a consultation exercise aimed at looking at the priorities of the City Centre and the Beach areas and we encourage all businesses to get involved and make their views known by the closing date of Friday 2 July.

The public consultation is available at the link here, be sure to make your views known by taking part in this important consultation exercise.

Further inquiries can be made through contacting CCMP@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

Nuart Production Kicks off
Earlier this month, we announced two new high-profile artists joining the Nuart Summer 2021 lineup, Fanakapan and KMG.

Popular UK artist Fanakapan, the pioneer of “Balloon Graff” works, joined the line-up. Fanakapan’s painted 3D effect street art of mainly balloon-based / reflective subjects will stop you in your tracks, they allow him maximum opportunity to demonstrate his superb free hand skills, use of shadow & reflective highlights to make his work seem to pop off of the surface!

Hailing from the silver streets of Aberdeen, KMG is a Scottish based artist who has been creating character based outdoor artwork for over a decade. Reflecting her curious nature, her work explores and confronts themes that range from the mundane to the precarious and is often of a subversive nature. Characters are used as a means of connecting with the public and engaging them in dialogue around ignored or overlooked issues that exist within society.

KMG kicked off the celebration of street art this month, with her first piece on Palmerston Road at Union Square. The Evening Express caught up with KMG to talk about the inspiration behind her work of art and how it feels to be kicking off the festival in her hometown, watch the full interview here.

To stay up to date with Nuart Aberdeen news as we announce more artists, make sure to keep an eye on our website here.

Will five-day office week will become the norm again?
The five-day office week could become the norm again within two years, the Centre for Cities think tank has told the BBC.

A blend of home and office work is expected to be popular while the UK recovers from the pandemic. But some analysts then anticipate a shift back to pre-Covid working patterns for many. Currently, people who can work from home are still advised to do so. However, that is likely to change if the government ends all social distancing restrictions

"I expect we will see three or four days a week in the office as the UK recovers," Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at Centre for Cities, told Radio 5 Live's Wake Up to Money programme.

"Over the longer term, I'm quite hopeful that we will see people return five days a week.

However on Thursday the story broke that millions of office staff could be given a ‘default’ right to work from home under post-pandemic plans being mulled over by ministers.

The proposals would change the law to make it illegal for employers to insist on staff attending the workplace unless they can show it is essential.

The UK government will consult on the plan – part of a drive to promote flexible working – over the summer, ahead of possible legislation later this year, it has been reported.

What do you think? With new shared tech flexi-office space popping up in the city and Oil and Gas giants such as Shell looking to relocate we would love to hear your thoughts on returning to a five-day office working week or the idea to allow staff the ‘default right’ to work from home, the impact the latter would have on our city centre and what can be done to speed up and encourage the return to city centre working?

Let us know what you think by emailing: info@aberdeeninspired.com
and read the full article here.

Get Stuck In and ‘Stuck Up’ as part of Nuart
Earlier this week, we issued a call for people to get involved in ‘Stuck Up’ a worldwide collaborative project which will see a massive ‘Paste Up’ project take place in Aberdeen City Centre as part of Nuart Aberdeen.

A wall spanning nearly half a kilometre has been earmarked for the world’s largest paste-up wall. It will feature curated pieces from a selection of Nuart artists, archive revolutionary street art posters from partner ‘flyingleaps’ together with submissions from artists, poets and creatives from across the globe.

Locals are also being asked to contribute to the spectacle, creating a truly collaborative ‘Paste Up’ wall running from the East Green into the Tunnels which is hoped will result in it being the biggest of its kind in the world.

Commenting on the project, Adrian Watson Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “This is an exciting opportunity for businesses and their staff to get involved with Nuart Aberdeen this summer.

“You don’t have to be able to draw to take part, it would be nice to see companies, community groups, charities, schools, families and individuals embrace the idea and contribute what they want for the gallery.

“It could be an image, words, a poem or their thoughts on the city, their experiences during the pandemic or Nuart itself, whatever people want to submit will be used (as long as its not overly offensive).

“This outdoor ‘gallery’ will feature international, national and local work and be a truly unique collaborative project for the city and we encourage people to take part.”
So get creating and be part of the world’s biggest outdoor gallery.

Send your submissions to: STUCK UP, THE ANATOMY ROOMS, MARISCHAL COLLEGE, SHOE LANE, ABERDEEN, AB10 1AN.

Aberdeen Art Gallery – British Art Show 9
Be amongst the first to experience the best and most exciting recent art from the UK when British Art Show 9 lands in Aberdeen this summer before it tours to Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth.

Taking place just once every five years, the British Art Show is widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art.

For the first time in Aberdeen – and the only Scottish venue - the British Art Show presents works by 33 artists who are defining new directions in contemporary art.

Read more about it here.

Café Culture
As Aberdeen emerges from pandemic-imposed restrictions, the city centre Business Improvement District is calling for the café culture that has emerged during lockdown to become a permanent feature.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said “As we have seen as a result of the pandemic, the partial pedestrianisation of parts of Union Street and Belmont Street is already leading to more cafe culture spaces for people to dwell and enjoy, adding to the atmosphere in the city centre and creating new reasons for visitors to head into town.

“The new outdoor culture has been embraced by the overwhelming majority of the public here in the North-east. There was initial scepticism and of course, the weather is a factor but so many other countries, especially across Europe, embrace that culture and adapt to the changing seasons.

“Working together with Aberdeen City Council and our city centre businesses, we have successfully introduced a café culture in Aberdeen as a result of the temporary spaces that have arisen from the Covid-19 restrictions. Now we want to see that continue to grow and become the norm here in the Granite City.”

Read more here.

School Superheroes celebrated nationally
Teachers, coaches, support staff, dinner ladies, janitors and cleaners - every single staff and volunteer member of every single school is a superhero that has in some way supported the learning of children in the city this school year.

Town and City Gift Cards - which our Aberdeen Gift Card is part of - want to help celebrate these school superheroes and have launched a national competition to celebrate our ‘School Superheroes’ and they are looking for nominations.

Thankfully we won’t be judging the entries but it would be amazing to have hundreds from the city in the mix. There will be one overall ‘School Superhero’ chosen who will be rewarded with a £50 Gift Card and in addition the school will get a £250 prize as well!

To enter simply go to https://townandcitygiftcards.c... and fill in the nomination form!

The closing date for entries is 31st August 2021.

New businesses join the highly successful Aberdeen Gift Card scheme
Now that life is slowly returning to normal, customers have had the chance to use their Aberdeen Gift Cards. We have had a number of new retailers and hospitality businesses join the scheme recently here are some of the new places where you can spend the Aberdeen Gift Card.

  • Warren James - Trinity
  • Holland & Barret - Trinity
  • The White Company
  • Hamish Munro
  • Hollister
  • Decathlon
  • Attic
  • The Wee Spotty Dog
  • No 18. Cards & Gifts, Chapel St

With over 160 businesses in Aberdeen City already signed up, the Aberdeen Gift Card is delivering a much-needed boost directly back into local economy. View the full list of businesses where you can spend it here and find out more about the gift card here.

Our Aberdeen Gift Card team have prepared some useful materials to help you remind your teams about how to process the Aberdeen Gift Card, including a handy till point guide. If your business would be interested in getting involved with the Aberdeen Gift Card - please contact us directly by emailing info@aberdeeninspired.com

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