Tall ships

Tall Ships 2025

Aberdeen City Council submitted its bid at the end of October to host the world-renowned Tall Ship Races to Aberdeen in 2025, nearly 30 years after the races graced our harbour in the 1990s.

A delegation from Sail Training International visited Aberdeen at the start of October on the invitation of Aberdeen Inspired, working closely with project partners Port of Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council, followed by the council’s decision to support a last-minute bid for Aberdeen. Successful Host Ports will be announced at the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference in Gran Canaria on 19 November.

Hailed as the largest free family event in Europe, the Tall Ships Races are a beacon of International Friendship and understanding around the world, bringing contrasting cultures and nations together. As part of the bid, host port cities must commit to sponsoring a number of young people to take part in the event, which offers life changing experiences for young people from different backgrounds - especially those with fewer opportunities - to take part and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.

If successful, Aberdeen can look forward to welcoming the tall ships for a four-day festival in the summer, including free access for the public to explore the Tall Ships, fabulous corporate hospitality and events opportunities, quay side festivities and more.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive Officer at Aberdeen Inspired, said: "The Tall Ships offers an opportunity to celebrate the Maritime history of the city and draw the sailing world's attention to the fantastic port facilities on offer in Aberdeen. Especially at a time when the new £400mil South Harbour will shift commercial operations to make way for leisure cruises visiting the city".

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Emergency Union Street summit held

On Wednesday 9 November, at the Douglas Hotel, Aberdeen Inspired, in association with Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s Vanguard members and partners, held an emergency summit about the prevailing challenges to Union Street.

With a capacity 170 attendees, comprising levy payers and other partners from across the three sectors, panels discussions, Q&As and group brainstorming sessions round the tables to bring together creative and collaborative ideas.

Yesterday ignited a renewed focus on what could be achieved both in the here and now and the longer term.

The full findings will help inform an action plan which Aberdeen Inspired and partners will bring forward. Further information to follow.

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Illuminated Suspended Signs complete

The Suspended Signage project is now complete with LED illuminated signs visible in 12 locations across Aberdeen city centre.

The aim of the project is to highlight some of the city’s most renowned streets offering clearly identified civic gateways, key streets and strategic connection points to help make Aberdeen a leading pedestrian friendly city as well as increasing safety. The signs were designed to add interest to and enhance how some parts of the city centre are experienced and improve wayfinding both of which are key aims of the City Centre Masterplan.

The first installations commenced on Belmont Street and Langstane Place in October 2021 with the final sign installations completed over the summer. Locations for the illuminated signs include Merchant Quarter, Shiprow, Crown Street, Windmill Brae, George Street and Chapel Street in the West End.

The project also included backlighting of The Langstane which sits recessed into an alcove at the south-east corner of 10 Langstane Place at the junction of Dee Street. The Stone is thought to have been part of a stone circle on the west side of Denburn and appears on a G&W Paterson's 1746 map of Aberdeen.

Find out more here.

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Society Awards at the Sandman Signature Aberdeen

The Society Awards took place on Thursday evening (10 November) at the Sandman Signature Aberdeen, the first time in person after a 3-year hiatus.

We were proud sponsors of the awards which celebrate businesses and individuals who are constantly pushing boundaries and striving to make the north-east an exciting and vibrant place to be through their businesses in food and drink, wellbeing, lifestyle, and retail.

Full list of winners can be found here.

We congratulate all the finalists and winners for being recognised and thank them for their overall contribution to the north-east.

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Urban Green Space 2 now complete

The installation of trees on Justice Mill Lane is now complete. Big planters filled with plants and greenery are offering 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.

The installations have been well received and businesses are already experiencing the benefits. Steven Gerrie, Deputy General Manager at Nuffield Health Aberdeen on Justice Mill Lane commented:

“We are pleased to see Aberdeen Inspired bringing some life into Justice Mill Lane. The urban green spaces brighten the area up for our team, members and visitors”.

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

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Countdown to Christmas in Aberdeen is on!

On Thursday 17 November, the Christmas Village opens on Broad Street with a curated Christmas market in the Marischal Quad, food and drink stalls and Codona’s providing the amusement rides. Coinciding that evening is the Christmas light switch-on ceremony at the Castlegate.

A re-imagined family trail is 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 here.

Charlie House Santa Run

Santa Run on Union Street

Don your Santa suit and hat in aid of Charlie House this festive season on Sunday 20 November by walking or running the length of Union Street as part of Aberdeen’s Christmas opening celebrations. Open to all ages, abilities including wheelchair users.

This event is sure to bring large crowds of spectators and participants the length and breadth of Union Street.

Entry includes a Santa suit, a bib number, and finishers medal. Tickets now available and more information here.

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Meet Santa in the city’s heart

Santa is taking up residence in his Workshop over the festive period in the Bon Accord Centre. Hosted by and profits going to Charlie House HQ, the workshop is open throughout November and December in Bon Accord. Bring along family and friends to meet Santa and his elves for a magical and memorable experience this Christmas. Pose for a photo and receive your gift. There will be an opportunity to view your photos, purchase different merchandise packages customised with your very own images and take some photos at the festive photo booth.

Book your tickets and get more information here.

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E-bikes rolled out in Aberdeen

Hundreds of rentable electric bicycles are now available in the Granite City. Big Issue eBikes has partnered up with Aberdeen City Council to bring the rental service which is being delivered by the same organisation behind the Big Issue publication sold by people on the street. The project will create new employment opportunities for vulnerable or marginalised individuals. Jobs will include swapping batteries, ensuring the bikes are being used and parked responsibly, and spread the bikes out evenly across rental zones.

Initially 200 bikes, with 40 parking spots, people will be able to rent the bikes on a pay-as-you-go basis, subscriptions will become available in the future.

Renting and locating one of these bikes will be done virtually through an app. Each bike comes with an adjustable seat, phone holder, a small basket, a bell and even its own individual name. With no manual gears, the electric power kicks in after pedalling and will assist the rider up hills.

More information here.

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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 starts this weekend, running 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.

More info here.

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Attic Clothing moves to Union Street

After 21 years in The Academy Shopping Centre, Attic have moved to 87 Union Street and opened their doors. Attic Clothing is Scotland's premier independent clothing store with stores in Aberdeen and Inverurie with a mix of cutting-edge brands, new up and coming designers and a selection of established collections thrown together to make an eclectic statement that has become their signature ever since.

Attic’s aim is to bring the very best products based on value for money, quality of finish and of course on style.

View their range here.

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Rituals to open in Union Square

Dutch cosmetics brand Rituals is to open in Union Square soon. Founded in 2000 in Amsterdam, they were the first luxury brand to combine home and body products, embracing 'The Art of Soulful Living'.

Rituals welcomes you to take the path of sustainable wellbeing, with collections good for you and the planet. Their products are created to promote your personal wellbeing, using ingredients of natural origin that help you transform daily routines into meaningful moments.

Find out more here.

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3 Mad Hatters

Aberdeen’s newest party venue 3 Mad Hatters is now open on Justice Mill Lane offering three themed floors: Arcade, Carousel and Ballpit comprising of 40+ nostalgic arcade games, karaoke rooms, signature cocktails and Scotland’s biggest ball pool with 200,000+ balls!

Your one-stop party and entertainment destination, open 7 days a week, free entry with fees for use of the facilities.

Book your night out here at Aberdeen’s newest fun and unique bar here.

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Mount Café

Coffee lovers will be pleased to hear that Mount Café is now open on Upperkirkgate overlooking the Marischal College.

An independently run artisan coffee shop and lifestyle store, run by friends Jack and Lauren who have a passion for good coffee gained through travel as well as the outdoors. Their aim is to create Mount with an outdoor experience, inside. The café’s interior space is a welcoming and warm offering a mountaintop experience.

With locally roasted coffee and delicious cakes and savoury bakes created by local bakers, using only the highest quality ingredients with homemade filing and flavours. The café is a treat for the taste buds.

Mount will be hosting a Christmas market every Friday in December 6-8pm with products from small local businesses.

More information and book your table here.

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His Majesty’s Theatre unveils The Terrace

Aberdeen Performing Arts have unveiled the new name and look of the refurbished bar and café at His Majesty's Theatre which is due to open on Saturday 3 December in time for Panto season .

Overlooking the newly developed Union Terrace Gardens, The Terrace will offer the ideal spot to enjoy pre-show dinning, light lunches, and full course dinners.

The Terrace will have an emphasis on fresh ingredients, offering a simple but tasty menu and seasonal specials with deals for families and children.

More info, menus and make a reservation here. Explore The Terrace in 360 here.


TEDx Aberdeen

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

This year's event took place at the weekend (12 November) at Aberdeen Arts Centre, with a fantastic group of speakers who stepped on the famous red dot to deliver insightful talks centred around the theme of 'movement'.

For the first time the TEDxAberdeen was live streamed to a second venue at the Net Zero Technology Centre on Queen’s Road. More information here.

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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. Order 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 support@mi-cnx.com 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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