Local restrictions update

Re-introduction of some Covid-19 measures announced

As you will know on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced measures to be brought into effect from 26 December to try to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 throughout Scotland.

Aberdeen Inspired are here to provide guidance and support to any levy payer as we navigate through these challenging times, so please do email us if you need help. The Covid-19 Hub on our website contains a summary of the measures and has links to the Scottish Government information and business support pages. We will continue to update this section of the website as more information regarding grants and support packages become available.

We appreciate how difficult these measures make it for businesses to trade and unfortunately some, such as our cities theatres and larger entertainment venues have no alternative but to close their doors from Boxing Day until mid January. As a priority we are committed to lobbying at both a local and national level to ensure businesses get the support they need and access to funding quickly and fairly.

Scottish Government have stated that the measures introduced on 26 December will be reviewed on Tuesday 11 January 2022.

Aberdeen Launches First Digital Gift Card

Aberdeen is one step closer to creating a digital city centre after becoming one of the first places in the UK to launch its own digital version of the hugely successful Aberdeen Gift Card.

The local gift card is now available as an e-card which can be sent instantly to the recipient’s phone by text or email after purchasing the digital gift card online.

Recipients download the Love Local app, add the balance to their digital wallet on their smartphone and can then spend it in one of the 200 Aberdeen businesses which accept the card.

The introduction of the new digital gift card is the latest initiative launched by Aberdeen Inspired to support businesses and position Aberdeen for the future by enhancing digital connectedness. Read more here.

The more businesses that participate the more attractive the Aberdeen Gift Card becomes to customers as it gives them more choice on where to spend it. To join the FREE scheme, get in touch here & to view where you can spend your gift card, click here.

And remember, if your business accepts the physical version of the card please ensure staff are familiar with how to take payment. If you need training or support materials get in touch or read our merchants payment guide here.

Two new additions ‘In the Frame’ at Aberdeen International Comedy Festival

If our last announcement wasn’t big enough for you, we have two more outrageously funny comedians joining the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival line-up which returns to the city from 6 to 16 October 2022.

Legendary comedian, broadcaster and author Harry Hill who’s known for his oversized collars will headline on the evening of 10 October and festival favourite Sofie Hagen will return to the festival on 7 October. Find out more and book your tickets to see them here.

Although the comedy show announcements so far are for the bigger city centre venues, we are working hard on programming comedians for our city centre hotels, bars and event spaces, if you have a space that you’d like to be part of the comedy festival then get in touch with us here.

‘A Christmas Wish’ – Aberdeen Inspired’s Christmas Film

Earlier this month we launched our Christmas film – ‘A Christmas Wish’ - focusing on the Christmas spirit that is so evident in our city centre. We worked alongside production company TVP and several fantastic local businesses to create a short film that really encapsulates Aberdeen city and all that it has to offer this festive season. We hope you enjoy it and our shorter edits of the video which can watched by clicking here.

What’s on at Aberdeen Art Gallery

The largest exhibition dedicated to iconic British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes was unveiled at Aberdeen Art Gallery last month.

Organised by the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, where the exhibition premiered in 2019/2020, this comprehensive retrospective considers 50 years of a fascinating and varied career, presenting influential looks, original textiles and archive material from a true design legend. Read more here.

A new exhibition by sculptor Kenny Hunter was also unveiled at Aberdeen Art Gallery earlier this month. Sculpture Court, which is displayed in the Art Gallery’s grand central gallery of the same name, reflects on the changing role of the monument as a public artform.

Kenny Hunter is one of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists. Born in Edinburgh in 1962, Hunter graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1987 and then studied classical sculpture at the British School in Athens. He is based in Edinburgh and is a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, part of the University of Edinburgh. Read more here.

Aberdam Christmas Appeal

The team at Aberdam have decided to commit their time on Christmas Day to making and delivering food parcels for those in need within our community. They are appealing to our fellow Aberdonians to nominate anyone in the city who they feel needs or deserves a festive food parcel to lift their spirits or get them through an expensive and, for many - very difficult time of the year. Read more here.

Last minute gifts – we’ve got you covered!

If you are looking for a gift that supports hundreds of local businesses and thousands of local jobs the Aberdeen Gift Card is the gift that covers every wish! Available to buy right up to the last minute why not support local by gifting an e-card here or buy in store at the Bon Accord Centre today.

Aberdeen Inspired App - submit your proposals now!

We are looking to create a bespoke app to promote the city centre to both locals and visitors and help them find the best events and things to do, amazing places to eat and drink and hidden, off the beaten track gems.

The app will be used to share information about the city, highlight special offers and promote Aberdeen Inspired events, such as the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival, Aberdeen Restaurant Week, the Inspired Nights street food festival and Aberdeen Christmas Village, as well as the street art created for the internationally renowned Nuart festival.

We are now inviting local companies to submit proposals for the development of the Aberdeen Inspired app, with the aim of launching the tool in the spring. Read more here.

To register interest in submitting a proposal, please get in touch here. The closing date for submissions is January 24 2022.

Nominate a City Centre Green Space today

After successfully developing parklets at two very popular locations on Huntly Street and Holburn Street using the Scottish Town Centre Fund, Aberdeen Inspired have now successfully applied for further funding to allow the project to be expanded.

We are now asking for levy payers to suggest appropriate areas within the BID, where they believe such developments would be beneficial and also where businesses may potentially be willing to support the project by adopting limited responsibility for the installation. Get in touch with your suggestions here.

Christmas Village Business Feedback and capacity restrictions

Aberdeen Inspired and partners are keen to hear feedback from local businesses on this year’s Aberdeen Christmas Village. This survey, conducted by AGCC, will help ensure that city business needs are built into the planning for future events. Please complete the survey here.

In line with the recent measures announced by the First Minister in relation to the operation of outdoor events we can confirm that both Aberdeen City Council and Codonas who are responsible for the operation of the Aberdeen Christmas Village have confirmed they are able to operate in line with the recently announced event restrictions. Plans have been developed in anticipation for the changes to the regulation and associated guidance and it is expected the Village will open on 27 December with capacity restrictions in place.

Graffiti Granarchists create mural in memory of Angela Joss

The Graffiti Granarchists originally came together through LATA 65 as part of Nuart 2019, and were a project of Angela Joss who sadly passed away earlier this year. With help from Angela’s daughter, Megan, the Graffiti Granarchists have completed the last project Angela was planning – adding a splash of colour to Platform 9 at Aberdeen Railway Station. This is their largest mural to date and it depicts a rainbow, crashing waves, city landmarks, mountains, and butterfly will be a colourful welcome to anyone stepping off the train.

Read the full story here.

Aberdeen appoints a new Evening and Night-Time Economy Manager

Earlier this month Aberdeen Inspired, supported by Aberdeen City Council, appointed Ewan McLean as the new Evening and Night-Time Economy Manager (ENTEM) for Aberdeen City Centre. Ewan’s appointment comes at crucial time for the city centre as it continues to navigate through the challenges of Covid.

Ewan McLean said: “It is an exciting time to take on this role and build on the foundations laid by Nicola Johnston. I am looking forward to working with levy payers and other partners from across the night-time economy, be it the licensing trade, wider hospitality, cultural organisations, transport and of course public sector bodies such as the Police and NHS Grampian. A key strand of my business will be to promote a safe and welcoming city centre under the ‘Purple Flag’ accredited programme of work.”

Read more here.

Aberdeen Restaurant Week – we want your thoughts!

Although Aberdeen Restaurant Week was over a month ago, we still want to hear your thoughts! A huge thank you again to all the businesses who took part, our ambassadors and of course the people of Aberdeen who ventured out to dine.

Looking to 2022 we would like to get your views to help us shape the next event. So, if you were a member of the public who dined out during ARW, please take our public survey here. We are also hosting a prize draw to win a £50 Aberdeen Gift Card, so be sure to make your thoughts heard! Survey closes Friday 31 December.


If you are a restaurant who wants to sign up for the next edition of ARW, please notify us of your interest by clicking here.

Aberdeen City Council - Winter Resilience Campaign

Aberdeen City Council have put together leaflets on steps to prepare your business in case of flooding and information on gritting for city centre businesses. These are the start of several leaflets on covering resilience and what Aberdeen City Council can do along with steps businesses can take to be prepared.

Read the Flood Resilience info sheet here and the Winter Service info sheet here.

North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund

Aberdeen City Council has secured a £2m paid graduate internships and work-based training opportunities fund as part of a new North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF) to support economic recovery for businesses, boost employment and enhance skill levels for people who are based in the North East of Scotland.

Aberdeen City Council will accept expressions of interest until 18 January 2022 from individuals who would like to participate in these paid internships and work-based training opportunities.

For more information on support for individuals, please click the link here.

Brush up your digital skills with Business Gateway

Business Gateway are reaching out to local businesses in Aberdeen City & Shire with a reminder to get in touch with them if your business could benefit from free support.

If your business could benefit from digital upskilling, then you may be eligible for up to 21 hours of free support with a dedicated digital adviser. Topics covered by digital upskilling include digital marketing strategy, social media, website review and development, search engine optimisation, Google Analytics and AdWords, and more!

To find out more you can call them on 01224 289725 or email aberdeen@bgateway.com

Spot anti-social behaviour, call 101!

As the city centre gets busier, we have been made aware there has also been a rise in anti-social behaviour especially surrounding fast-food outlets, the City Church Yard and on the top deck of the Bon Accord Centre.

We strongly recommend our levy payers utilise the 101 system to report all concerning incidents. This is critical to ensuring that Police Scotland are fully aware of the issues in the city centre and can resource them appropriately.

Aberdeen Inspired are always willing to help assist our levy payers and wish to know about these concerns, however, we are not a substitute for reporting incidents to the police.

TAG US!

Are you a business in the city centre who wants to be featured on our social channels? Make sure to tag us, it makes it so much easier for us to find and share your content!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter at @abdninspired.