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Your table is waiting at Aberdeen Restaurant Week!

Aberdeen restaurant Week is back for a Spring edition running for 12 days from Monday 7 to Friday 18 March 2022.

Serving up exclusive menus for two simple price points of £10 for lunch and £25 for dinner, food lovers will be able to enjoy a wide range of cuisines from dozens of local eateries offering unique, value for money menus which have been put together exclusively for the twelve-day promotion.

We are still accepting applications from restaurants, all you have to do is put together a £10 lunch menu or a £25 dinner menu, what you choose to offer for these price points is up to you. So for example Mac’s Pizzeria are offering 2 courses for two people for £25 whilst Handmade Burger Company are offering a side and a burger for £10!

If you are a restaurant who is interested in signing up, head to the link here.

Workplace levy

Work place parking levy - share your thoughts

Plans for the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) were drawn up by the Scottish government as part of its budget agreement with the Greens in 2019, with the legislation due to come into effect on 4 March of this year. The scheme could lead to some motorists who drive to work having to pay hundreds of pounds a year for a parking space. It is not a national scheme and local authorities will be free to decide whether or not to introduce it in the future.

The position of Aberdeen City Council on the introduction of WPL has still to be discussed locally. If the council does decide to impose the levy, employers who provide their staff with on-site parking will need to apply for a licence, the cost of which will be based on the number of spaces in the car park. Some workplaces - including all NHS properties, GP surgeries, hospices and disabled parking spaces – would be exempt.

The Scottish government and environmental groups believe the initiative will help reduce congestion and air pollution by encouraging motorists to walk, cycle or take public transport to work, as well as raising money for local services. But opponents say it will simply hit businesses and workers in the pocket at a time when they are attempting to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, and they are sceptical about whether people really will choose to ditch their cars.

We’d like to hear you views on the possible introduction of WPL by clicking here.

Cafe culture

Bring Café Culture to Aberdeen’s Belmont Street Quarter

Aberdeen City Council have marked out a way forward for plans to encourage cafe culture in Aberdeen – with a £1.5 million overhaul of Belmont Street.

These changes will build on the recent temporary outdoor café culture and will provide a future-proofed outdoor space for business and public seating to enliven the area, creating a permanent on-street café culture in the Belmont Street Quarter. It will also create space in favour of pedestrians and encourage footfall.

Commenting on these plans, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Inspired said: "Aberdeen Inspired is delighted to see further investment into the Belmont Street Quarter and we look forward to working with Aberdeen City Council and our businesses in maximising opportunities and ensuring all views are heard."

Read more here >

Are you a business on Belmont Street? We want to hear your thoughts. Get in touch here.

Ewan street pastors

Respect and thanks to the unsung heroes of Aberdeen’s Night Time Economy

One of the valued partners that leads to Aberdeen earning the Purple Flag accreditation for excellence in the night-time economy are the Street Pastors. Evening and Night Time Economy Manager, Ewan McLean got to spend the Friday night into Saturday morning of the Spectra festival weekend with a team of seven hardy volunteers, observing the excellent work they do in making Aberdeen a safe and welcoming city after dark.

The Safe Space bus, located at the junction of Belmont and Union Street acts as a base for the Street Pastors and people in need. Cups of tea or coffee, kind words, minor first aid emergencies and compassion were among the good work of the pastors that evening and Ewan was full of admiration for the volunteers work commenting “ It’s hard to put a value on the work of the Street Pastors. Without a crystal ball you never know how the situations they intervene in may have developed. The ambulance trips, police time, damage to property or to business reputations had events played out. That they do this for free and little thanks is extremely laudable. The work they do is invaluable to creating a safe and welcoming city and will be central to Aberdeen retaining its Purple Flag status. “

Read the full report Ewan gave on his time shadowing the Street Pastors here.

David O Doherty Resize

Find your funny this October at the comedy festival!

Irish funnyman David O’Doherty is the latest act to be added to the star-studded AICF 2022 line-up. His show ‘whoa is me’ will open the festival on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 October at the city’s iconic Tivoli Theatre – and he’s set to be one of the hottest tickets at this year’s festival. Get your tickets here and check out the line up announced so far here.

Programming for the October festival is in full swing and we have secured space at some great city centre spaces including Tunnels, Cheerz, Drummonds, Blue Lamp, Aberdeen Art’s Centre, Douglas Hotel, Park Inn and a couple of new city venues due to open this spring. We are still on the hunt for more so if your business has a space that you’d like to be considered for one of the comedy festival gigs then get in touch with us here.

Find out more here.

City BIDS 1 Feb in

Scottish City BIDs call for safe and full return to office

At a meeting of the Scottish City Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Group in Stirling, the city BID leads were unified in their call for government to quickly consider moving to a safe and full return of staff to the office, where appropriate.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “Working from home for nigh on two years has obviously had a dramatic impact on our weekly footfall numbers across our Scottish city centres. This was essentially our captive audience that did so much to support our retail and hospitality sectors on our high streets.

“Whilst the nod to a hybrid model is a step in the right direction, we strongly feel that it should now be for business and other sector leaders to have the discretion to work with their staff on how to implement a safe and full return where appropriate.”

Read the full story here > https://www.aberdeeninspired.c...

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Pictured here at the official photocall announcing the schools support are Mashfi Islam P1, Molly McIntosh P3, Karl Addison P4 and Charlotte Anderson P7

Businesses, schools and individuals line up to stand under Umbrella Project

Multi-coloured umbrellas will be suspended across Aberdeen city centre streets this summer as part of an exciting installation being spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with the ADHD Foundation. Set to launch in June 2022 sponsorship opportunities start from as little as £350 and business are being urged not to let the opportunity to be involved go over their heads!

The Umbrella Project offers a unique opportunity to bring an uplifting art installation to the city, engage with the community at large, and raise awareness of neurodevelopmental conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, autism etc, that affect 1 in 5 people from all walks of life. Individuals with these 'different abilities' are so often subject to educational disadvantages, health and economic dependencies, and are thought to have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We are proud to share the ADHD Foundation's message; emphasising the intelligence, talents and employability of these individuals, both in Aberdeen and beyond.

Streets including Justice Mill Lane, Shiprow, Chapel Street and Belmont Street are being considered as possible locations for the installations.

Mile End School is the first school to sign up to be part of the project this summer.

At a photo call to announce the partnership Claire Grugeon, Depute Head Teacher said “Mile End is excited to be taking part in Aberdeen Inspired’s Umbrella Project which is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the gifts and talents of our diverse school population. Our school offers a unique learning environment for over 600 primary pupils, which includes 80 pupils from across Aberdeen City who access our additional support needs provision."

The umbrella’s will be installed in the corridor roof area at Mile End and will be a visible celebration of the unique gifts of every child. Each umbrella will be decorated by the signatures and handprints of their children. This will be used to launch a yearlong programme of educational opportunities to learn about neurodiversity with events focusing on developing links with local business to support understanding and celebration of neurodiversity in the workplace. This will support children in the upper stages develop skills for lifelong learning and work.

The deadline for schools to sign up is fast approaching. For £350, you get a mini umbrella installation within your school, access to webinars and a multitude of educational resources. Find out more here.

Local fitness instructor, Rob Strachan has also pledged his support and is aiming to raise £5000 to help sponsor the installations.

Rob will be undertaking a sponsored run of 78km in 48 hours, starting with people all across the world at 8pm pacific time or 4am UK time on Saturday 5 March 2022. He is planning to tun around the coast of north-east Scotland and link up with the Grey Hope Bay dolphin team.

Read more and donate here.

Aberdeen Inspired have already secured £12,500 of funding towards the first installation but aim to have multiple installations around the city centre and they are urging businesses to get involved through sponsorship of the installations .

Find out more here.

Digital card aberdeen

Digital gift card is a must have product for city businesses

The launch of the digital version of the Aberdeen Gift Card in late December makes it a must accept product for all city business. Locking in over £425,000 of sales to the city in just over a year the gift card is delivering a much-needed boost to the local economy and supporting local jobs. In December alone sales compared to the previous year increased by 37% underlining the public’s desire to support the local economy and shop local.

Free to join, the BID fund the operation and marketing of the card and are encouraging business to sign up to ensure they get their share of gift card spend. And it is not just the value of the card that gets spent, because research shows that on average people spend 40% more on top of the value of their card when they redeem it and that their likelihood of becoming a repeat customer is over 50%.

Click here to check out who accepts the card or contact us to join

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Picture by Chris Sumner.

New businesses open up in City Centre!

Geek Retreat – a new gaming café and geek merchandise shop had its grand opening last Saturday and received lots of attention during launch with people turning up dressed as their favourite comic book characters.

The new shop and cafe is part of a UK-wide Geek Retreat network and was set up by enthusiast and ex-marine superintendent, Scott Leslie. Read more here>

Kirk View Café have officially moved into their new premises on Belmont Street. Kirk View Café are also one of the restaurants signed up to take part in ARW this March – so make sure to book a table and try out their delicious menu of Scottish Tapas fusion.

Gaia at Liverpool Cathedral for River Festival 2019

Spectra – we want your feedback!

Spectra is over for another year and it was an extraordinary four days, seeing the city centre come to life with people and art. The celebrated event saw leading names from the UK and around the world create a stunning lightscape across the city centre at locations including Marischal College, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Marischal Square, and Aberdeen Art Gallery inspired by Scotland’s Year of Stories

If you are a business, AGCC want to hear your feedback. Did you see an increase in footfall or sales? Let them know and complete the business survey here

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Make your thoughts heard about George Street

Calling all stakeholders, now is the time to make your thoughts heard about George Street as part of a public consultation ahead of a potential new "mini-masterplan" for the area.

The Aberdeen City Council questionnaire aims to help the local authority understand what George Street businesses would like to see in any future plans for the area.

George Street is a vital part of the city centre with a diversity of uses which give the area its own distinct character. We urge all businesses to take a few minutes to help shape the future of George Street.

Complete the survey by 7 March here.

Granite noir

Granite Noir is back with over 40 live events this weekend

Granite Noir, Scotland’s crime writing festival returns to the city this weekend running from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 February. With more than 40 in-person events including talks, workshops, performances, escape rooms and films the festival celebrates crime fiction in all its forms, with a focus on the contribution of Scottish writers.

Events running include an exploration of life and death, with forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black looking at how we die and what happens when we do. Other speakers include magician and historian Ian Keable, uncovering stories of the 18th-century’s most outrageous hoaxes and those who were duped by them. An opportunity to try 007’s signature cocktail is available at Dr Kathryn Harkup’s event, Shaken Not Stirred, looking at the ways to die in the world of James Bond, including the ridiculous ones.

There will also be performances of Witch Hunt, dramatising the trials and tribulations of those prosecuted for witchcraft throughout history, shown at Aberdeen’s historic Mither Kirk. Other events will take place at the Lemon Tree, the newly restored Cowdray Hall and St Nicholas Kirk.

For those unable to attend performances in person, at the weekend there will be seven events livestreamed.

Tickets for all events can be found at Find out more here.

Lunchbreak Concerts City Music School

Lunchbreak Concerts at Aberdeen Art Gallery

Earlier this month, Aberdeen Art Gallery launched the return of their popular free Lunchbreak Concerts in an ambitious style with local pianist Joseph Long.

Lunchbreak Concerts have been an important aspect of the Art Gallery’s public programme of activity for many years, offering an important platform for both established and emerging performers. The programme features professional and non-professional musicians, from Aberdeen and the North-East as well as further afield.

Lunchbreak Concerts are free, and donations are welcome. Visit the website for full programme details. Advance booking is encouraged.

Head to the link here to find out more >

Energy voice

Energy Voice – Invest in Aberdeen

Join Energy Voice in leading the conversation on Aberdeen’s future as a global energy industry hub.

They are running a hybrid event titled Invest in Aberdeen will run from May 2022 and will highlight the innovative leaders and businesses that make investing in the city’s future compelling, and their expert panels will share their vision for Aberdeen’s evolution as an energy hub in a net-zero world

The hybrid event will feature an in-person audience and will also be streamed online to a worldwide audience. Energy Voice have opportunities for sponsorship and advertising at the event and businesses interested in getting involved should contact Jim Bruce.

Find out more here.

Sign for low emission zone article image

Low Emissions Zone proposal update

A Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) is an area where only certain vehicles are allowed to enter based on their emissions standards.

Aberdeen City Council will introduce a Low Emissions Zone in 2022; joining Dundee, Glasgow, and Edinburgh Councils in tackling dangerous levels of air pollution (mainly nitrogen dioxide – NO2) mostly caused by road traffic.

Following the close of the formal objection period in November 2021, Aberdeen City Council has now revised its proposals for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and will soon submit proposals for Ministerial approval.

The proposal can be viewed here >

VA volunteer

VisitAberdeenshire Volunteers

VisitAberdeenshire are looking for friendly, passionate and proud people keen to their local knowledge for their ‘Welcome to Aberdeenshire’ initiative.

If you are interested in meeting new people, learning new skills and showing your passion for all things Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire then head to the link here for more information on their volunteer scheme and how to apply >


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