Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.
Levy payers took part in a renewal ballot from February 4 to March 17, with the majority voting “yes” to give the organisation a second five-year term. 293 votes were cast during the ballot, with 63 % in support.
Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, expressed his gratitude to all levy payers who took the time to vote and express their support for the organisation.
He said: “I would like give my heartfelt thanks to everyone that took part in our renewal ballot. The past six weeks has been the most crucial in Aberdeen Inspired’s history and we are absolutely delighted to have been voted back for a second term.
“We have worked closely with local businesses within the city centre over the past few years and it is our aim to continue to be an effective voice for our levy payers on all city centre matters. Hugely important groundwork was laid in our previous term and we can’t wait to carry forward new projects and continue to support ongoing ones.
“We are planning to invest a minimum of £6.5 million in the heart of Aberdeen in our next term and build on the positive work that our team has already carried out, playing a big role in reinvigorating our city centre. Our plans for the future are extensive and ambitious and we are looking forward to making them a reality.”
Aberdeen Inspired has categorised future projects under four main themes – attractive city centre, promoting our city centre, safe and welcoming city centre and helping your business – all of which aim to be beneficial to its 700 levy payers throughout the BID.
After confirmation of its second term, the organisation will now concentrate its efforts on planned initiatives for the year ahead (2016-17), with a variety of projects in the pipeline to improve the city centre aesthetic. These include multi-faceted clean-up campaigns ranging from a dedicated focus on Union Street to an extended programme of decorative floral baskets and bedding to further creative lighting projects similar to the popular installation within Golden Square.
Aberdeen Inspired will also make a concerted effort to utilise vacant properties in the city centre by lobbying owners to consider providing free and discounted space for pop-up enterprises and exhibitions – as well as bringing forward a number of number of ‘Adopt an Area’ and street art projects.
A larger programme of festivals throughout the city centre is also planned, with particular emphasis on building on the success of the Aberdeen Christmas Village, which welcomed more than 500,000 visitors, by increasing the size of the Village and attractions.
In addition, Aberdeen Inspired will continue to back the city’s Purple Flag status – an accolade which recognises a safe and secure night time economy – and follow-up the current wayshowing project by installing suspended signage throughout the city centre to identify specific streets and quarters.
Gary Craig added: “All of our planned projects aim to revitalise the BID and city centre and make it an attractive, safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit, while driving footfall and increasing dwell time. This is something that benefits not only local businesses, but residents and visitors alike. The next five years are going to be busy ones for us and we are excited to continue the hard work and bring our plans to fruition.”