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Tall ships

Tall Ships

Aberdeen Inspired has hailed the decision by Aberdeen City Council to get behind the bid to bring the Tall Ships back to the city.

Adrian Watson Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said that Aberdeen City Council, Port of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Inspired were working hard on bringing a compelling bid together.

Adrian Watson said: "Aberdeen Inspired has a strong record of working with Aberdeen City Council and other partners in delivering several of the city's flagship annual festivals and events, and we are absolutely delighted that Aberdeen City Council has agreed to support the bid to see the iconic Tall Ships return to this great sea faring city, being the largest free family event in Europe.

Through these challenging times, it is vital that we are bold and ambitious for our city in attracting world class events of this scale, which will help bring much needed footfall into our city and build a legacy.”

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Union Street Emergency Summit

Aberdeen Inspired, in association with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s Vanguard members and partners, is holding an emergency summit on the city centre’s main thoroughfare.

The summit seeks to find ways of tackling the continual decline of Union Street. Despite recent images of proposals for Union Street revealing promising potential for major improvement, there is a growing concern that if we don’t act now, it will become increasingly more difficult to attract organisations to fill the growing number of vacant units that would revitalise the city centre’s main artery.

Retailers, publicans, restaurateurs, businesses, visitors and citizens are increasingly concerned about the detrimental impact this demise is having on civic pride and the local economy. The loss of footfall is leading to reduced spend in city centre businesses

The purpose of the summit is to bring together levy payers, partners agencies and other key stakeholders in our city centre to brainstorm short and medium-term solutions, both temporary and permanent, that can breathe new life into Union Street, helping it regain its place as a vibrant thoroughfare and realise its true potential.

We need to think differently and come up with creative solutions that quickly improve the look and feel of our main high street before it’s too late.

Aberdeen Inspired exists to work with others to improve the city centre and thereby the fortunes of those who depend on it. We owe it to our levy payers to take a stand and try to find fresh ideas and more creative, collaborative ways of working between the public and private sectors to drive the change that is urgently required. Union Street and the wider city centre has so much potential, but this will only be realised if we can all get behind it.

The event is free to attend and open to fully paid-up levy payers and to partner agencies, key stakeholders and decision-makers by invitation. Due to high demand for places, our Emergency Summit on Union Street is likely to be over-subscribed. We are keen to ensure that as many levy-payers as possible are able to attend so please get in touch here to register your place.


Aberdeen International Comedy Festival - a great success and set to return next year!

Comedy returned with a bang from 6-16 October with a line-up of gut-busting comedians who graced the Granite City for 11 days.

Headline acts included popular and well-loved TV comics such as Jack Dee, Harry Hill, David O'Doherty and Milton Jones alongside many fresh faces on the comedy circuit including Stuart McPherson, Krystal Evans, Daniel Petrie and Liam Farrelly.

Returning after 3 years, audiences were treated to 43 shows by over 60 comedians, with 15 sell-out shows, 3 more than in 2019.

Attracting more than 7,000 people to the city over the festival run, audience numbers for the core festival period had dropped slightly, but mirrored the downward trend reported by others such as the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe.

City centre businesses got involved by coming forward with exclusive festival offers and provided discounts on accommodation, drinks and food.

Aberdeen International Comedy Festival will look to return on 30 September 2023 for 10 days. Keep your eyes peeled for headline act announcements very soon!

Did you attend this year's festival? We would love your feedback to help shape future events.

Please complete the survey at the link here >

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Christmas in Aberdeen festivities set to light up the city

From Thursday 17 November until Hogmanay a jam-packed programme of events will take place in the city centre to get visitors and residents in the festive spirit.

The Christmas Village will return to Broad Street, with Aberdeen Inspired again working with Charlie House charity to curate a Christmas market in the Marischal Quad, where businesses from across the city and north-east will offer their fabulous wares. There is also a re-imagined family trail planned and the Christmas Lights Switch-on Parade which is going ahead for the first time since 2019. This is a great festive package to help attract a wider north-east audience into our city centre over this crucial period of trade for our businesses.

To find out more and follow all announcements, visit Aberdeen City’s website.

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Scotland Loves Local Awards

We are delighted that the internationally award winning Nuart Aberdeen Street Art Festival has been shortlisted for the Creative Town category at the Scotland Loves Local Awards.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Inspired said: “Nuart (Aberdeen) is now recognised as a globally leading street art festival and has played its part in putting the city and Scotland on the map in terms of its positive impact. Over the piece, we have played host to the very best street artists from across the world who have worked alongside our local artists in building a powerful legacy.

"This has been admirably supported by local people of all ages from schools, universities and local communities who have positively engaged in Nuart and built a considerable cultural dividend. Nuart has been a creative phenomenon that does so much to revitalise our city centre.”

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Treat your team with an Aberdeen Gift Card

This festive season give the perfect gift to your staff with the Aberdeen Gift Card. Starting at just £10 it is the perfect little thank you that gives them a world of choice in their pocket!

Accepted by nearly 300 local businesses, including national brands such as M&S, Next and Waterstones as well as independent local businesses like Hamish Munro, No.10 and Annie Mo’s the gift card gives so much choice on what and where to spend it. Please get behind our ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses by investing in the Aberdeen Gift Card and help lock-in spend in our city centre. Read more here.

If you received a gift card for Christmas last year, it's time to spend it soon! Valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, your card may be expiring soon. If you are a customer with a card who has been unable to use it within their 12-month validity period, you can contact the gift card provider by emailing to receive a one off 3-month validity extension.

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Sign your business up to the Aberdeen Gift Card Scheme

The Aberdeen Gift Card is delivering a much-needed boost directly back into local economy. Funded by Aberdeen Inspired, the scheme is free to join and does not cost your business or the consumer anything, it’s simply another payment method for the goods, services or products your business sells.

Gifting the card is simple. You can go to the Bon Accord Centre information desk or online here with the option of an e-card being sent straight to the recipient.

Want to join the free scheme? Click here.

Check out our full list of businesses that accept the gift card here.

We would also remind all businesses that accept the card to ensure all staff are familiar with how to take payment using a gift card as we head into the busy Christmas period. We know many of you recruit seasonal staff so make sure they are briefed to how to process the card. If you need training or support materials get in touch or read our merchants payment guide here.

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Yesterday, the first of an avenue of trees were beginning to be installed to brighten up Justice Mill Lane. Big planters filled with plants and greenery will offer a little oasis of calm in the city centre.

This follows on from the two areas of the city centre which have already been transformed into a parklet and pocket park - a former dustbin store on Huntly Street and the area outside St James' Episcopal Church at Holburn Junction.

This project has been funded by the Place Based Initiative Fund at no cost to our levy payers.

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DEPARTMNT- No ordinary department store

Brought to you by the team at Second Home Studio & Café with support from Aberdeen City Council and Look Again and will run between 12 November and 23 December at 8a Gaelic Lane.

At DEPARTMNT you will find the most thoughtful gifting ideas but they're not from huge brands and international chains. It will be fully stocked with gorgeous gifts from your local artists and designers only. Participating artists are not charged commission will keep 100% profit on items sold.

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Aberdeen Cocktail Week deemed a success!

Aberdeen’s first cocktail week has been deemed a success by organisers with 876 wristbands being sold and over 900 in use throughout the week! Read more here >

Did you attend Aberdeen Cocktail Week? Make your thoughts heard on the event here >

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Have your say on BBC Scotland’s political discussion show!

Coming to Aberdeen on Wednesday 2 November, Debate Night is the only television programme of its kind in Scotland. It gives you the opportunity to put your questions to the country’s decision-makers and public figures.

They want people from all walks of life. You might be a parent, a carer or a student? Perhaps you run a business or are a frontline worker? Retired, self-employed, unemployed or just starting out in the workplace - we need you.

It’s your questions, stories, experiences and opinions that lead the discussion - so they couldn’t do it without you!

The panels are a great mix of people. Recent guests to join politicians include musician Ricky Ross, authors Alex Gray and Val McDermid, historian Sir Tom Devine, columnists Hugo Rifkind and Pat Kane, comedians Jo Caulfield and Susie McCabe, Still Game actress Jane McCarry and former Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Piers Linney.


Aberdeen Art Gallery Festive Market

Join Tea Green at Aberdeen Art Gallery this winter for a festive market like no other! This beautiful venue will be packed full of an inspiring showcase of independent creative businesses based all across Scotland! ❤️

The market will be host to a wonderful selection of work, including cosy textiles, sparkling jewellery, gorgeously functional ceramics, quirky illustrations & so much more! With 50 different independent creative businesses exhibiting over the weekend, this is the perfect place to find all of those unique & special gifts! What better way to get your festive shopping off to the best, feel good start!

Tea Green at Aberdeen Art Gallery is too good to miss, so be sure to pop along for your chance to discover, celebrate & support an incredible line up of Scotland's creative talent!

Explore the full exhibitor line-up here >

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Transform Business Festival

Elevator, the leading Scottish business support organisation has joined forces with Scotland’s national business support service, Business Gateway to launch a new entrepreneurial festival.

The Transform Business Festival takes place at Aberdeen Science Centre on Tuesday November 8 and will bring together businesses across the north east to help them to flourish and grow.

The event is free to attend and will be a hub for entrepreneurial activity, giving new and existing businesses insight into how they can start, grow, and build their own enterprise.

The line-up includes an inspirational opening act as Giles Duley, the One Armed Chef, will be guest speaker at the Business Breakfast. Photojournalist, storyteller and campaigner, Giles lost both legs and an arm while on patrol with the US Army and will share his story of determination, courage and overcoming incredible odds.

Other business leaders set to appear during the day include e-commerce guru Ben Leonard, Dr. Fiona McIntyre, founder of Aberdeen visitor attraction Greyhope Bay, and Elevator CEO Gary McEwan.

There will be an exciting range of Bitesize Business Sessions and Fireside Chats throughout the day too. These will cover topical issues from starting a business, branding, and selling online to reducing costs and looking at the shape of workforces of tomorrow. Interactive and fun, these will be delivered by industry experts including The Federation of Small Businesses, marketing agency Korero, business consultants Delfinity and Flexibility Works.

The festival will also see a range of support organisations offering their expertise to help delegates convert their commercial ideas into reality in a dedicated Eco-System Village exhibition area.

Tickets for the Transform Business Festival are free of charge and available now here >


TEDx Aberdeen

We are proud to announce we are an official TEDxAberdeen 2022 partner.

This year's event is taking place on 12th November at Aberdeen Arts Centre, and a fantastic group of speakers will be stepping on the famous red dot to deliver insightful talks centred around the theme of 'movement'.

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