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Explore Nuart Aberdeen / Create your own tour

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Landmark giant letters unveiled in Aberdeen

Aberdeen’s new landmark giant letters have been officially unveiled at the city’s Castlegate, with the hope of attracting visitors and tourists looking for a photo opportunity.

The letters, which spell out ABERDEEN, stand at 2m tall and are illuminated by 96,000 LED lights and 980m of cable, which can be changed to celebrate holidays and events. The letters are currently located at the Castlegate with Union Street as its backdrop but have been designed to be detachable and able to be moved to different locations around the city.

The idea was drawn up by city business leaders to help encourage visitors to the city centre, as well as positively promoting the city on social media platforms such as Instagram. The project has been funded and led by city centre BID Aberdeen Inspired, which will manage the letters, VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish Government’s Scotland Loves Local fund, administered through Scotland's Towns Partnership.

Aberdeen joins other cities around the globe which have a similar focal point, including Edinburgh, Toronto and the iconic Amsterdam letters.


Full artist line-up revealed for Nuart Aberdeen 2023

An exciting line-up of artists, including the internationally acclaimed Thiago Mazza (Brazil), Swoon (USA) and UK-based artist Stanley Donwood and artist duo SNIK, will descend on the Granite City this June to create murals and art on the city’s walls as part of Nuart Aberdeen (8-11 June).

In total 13 globally renowned street artists hailing from Brazil, the USA, Europe, the UK and Iran will come together to create breath-taking pieces of street art using walls in Aberdeen city centre as the canvas for their work. The artists forming the festival line up this year are SNIK (UK), Aida Wilde (IR), Thiago Mazza (BR), Swoon (US), Tamara Alves (PT), Escif (ES), Manolo Mesa (ES), Eloise Gillow (UK/ES), Jamie Reid (UK), Murmure (FR), NeSpoon (PL), Stanley Donwood (UK) and KMG (UK/SCOTLAND).

Read the full announcement here.

View artists' bios here.

Further Nuart Aberdeen announcements coming soon, keep checking the Nuart webpage for updates.

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Meet the Levy Payers - Call out for levy paying businesses

We have started a new campaign called ‘Meet the Levy Payers’ to interview levy paying businesses in the city centre. We are calling upon levy payers to be featured by completing a short interview and having some photos/video taken at your business premises at a time convenient and at no cost to you.

If you are interested in being part of this campaign please email

Read our first Meet the Levy payer interview here.

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Significant boost to North-East tourism as the first cruise ship docks at the South Harbour

On Tuesday 2 May, the inaugural cruise arrival of the 202-metre long AIDAaura from Hamburg (Germany), arrived at the South Harbour.

This has been some time in the making, but the collaborative effort between the Port of Aberdeen, VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, VisitScotland, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen Inspired has been fantastic.

Aberdeen is set to welcome 39 cruise calls between May and October this year, which could boost the local economy by £4.2 million with up to 31,000 visitors arriving into port. This will undoubtedly be a real fillip to so many of our cultural, retail and hospitality businesses in the North-East region.

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TMM Recruitment's umbrella display in 2022

Umbrella Project - Mini Installations for schools and businesses

Businesses and schools will be able to bring some colour to the city centre as part of the Umbrella Project, being organised by Aberdeen Inspired with the ADHD Foundation.

Strings of coloured umbrellas will once again be seen on Shiprow from the end of May until September, in celebration of the ‘umbrella’ term of neurodiversity.

Members of the community are being encouraged to get involved by creating their own mini umbrella displays, highlighting neurodiversity in children and young people in educational settings.

The Umbrella Project is designed to celebrate the intelligence and ability of every human being, with a mission to empower and enable the next generation of children and young people.

Working in partnership with the ADHD Foundation, we aim to flip the perception of neurodiverse/ neurodivergent individuals on its head, and instead, celebrate the many strengths that come from thinking differently.

For individual businesses, a pack of 25 brightly coloured umbrellas can be provided to create their own display within their office grounds. The umbrellas have a pre-drilled 5mm hole at the top, which can be used by threading them with wire and hanging them where suitable. We recommend that each business plans their display beforehand.

Those interested in hosting a mini-installation this year can sign up here.

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Neurodiversity in the Workplace conference to be held at The Aberdeen Douglas Hotel

A conference on the benefits of employing a neurodiverse workforce to drive business growth and encourage team members to reach their own potential is to be held in Aberdeen in May.

The one-day event, titled ‘Neurodiversity in the Workplace - Unlocking Potential and Driving Innovation’, will support the return of the ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project to Aberdeen.

Sponsored by Harbour Energy and TMM Recruitment, the conference will be held at the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel from 8.30am to 2.30pm on Tuesday, May 30, adjacent to the main umbrella installation on Shiprow. Aberdeen Inspired levy payers will have the chance to attend free of charge.

It is aimed at both private and public sector businesses, with separate sessions on neurodiversity being planned for teachers and parents on Monday 29 May.

Speakers and contributors will include:

  • Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of the ADHD Foundation
  • Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired
  • Mavis Anagboso, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Harbour Energy
  • Charlotte Valeur, chair of the Institute of Neurodiversity
  • Amanda McCulloch, chief executive of Aberdeen-based TMM Recruitment
  • Professor Amanda Kirby, chief executive of Do-It Solutions and chair of the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity
  • Angela Prentner-Smith, founder and managing consultant at This is Milk

Places at the conference can be booked here.

Balmoral announcement

Tickets on sale for European Pipe Band Championships with Balmoral Group announced as the headline sponsor

Pipe bands from across the world will be in Duthie Park on Saturday 24 June. Pipers and drummers from across Europe, and as far afield as Australia, are expected to head to Aberdeen to participate in one of the largest piping events in the world.

The European Pipe Band Championships will be a celebration of music as the pipe bands compete against one another.

Speaking about the event coming to Aberdeen, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Chief Executive, Colin Mulhern said: “We are delighted to be back in Aberdeen for the European Pipe Band Championships after an absence of over 40 years. We look forward to the usual professional standards of presentation as in previous years and look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the World to Aberdeen.”

While Duthie Park is filled with the sounds of pipes and drums visitors will also be able to take part in a range of family fun activities that will appeal to all ages. There will also be food and drink on offer from a range of local producers.

The North-East business Balmoral Group have been officially announced as the headline sponsor for the European Pipe Band Championships. This is a significant gain for the event, with the Balmoral Group’s global reputation plus their promotion and support to the city and region’s cultural scene over the years.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from Eventbrite here. Buy now to receive the early bird price (until 31 May).

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Commercial opportunities for the European Pipe Band Championships

Take advantage of great commercial opportunities for the European Pipe Band Championships, coming to Duthie Park on Saturday 24 June.

The event is expected to attract around 20,000 people, as well as pipers and dancers from across Europe and beyond. Commercial revenue raised will be used to support the Championships and will help make a case for securing high-profile events for Aberdeen in future.

Sponsorship packages start from £2000, and we’re delighted that Balmoral Group have already taken the top Event Partner package. Sponsorship provides a great chance to promote your business, entertain VIPs, and gain opportunities for staff to visit and participate in the event.

Advertising in the event programme starts at just £175. The programme will be an essential purchase for ticket holders as it includes all of the information about bands and running times on the day. Most ticket holders will be residents from across the city and region alongside those visiting from elsewhere. The deadline for submitting artwork for the event programme is Friday 12 May at 5pm.

Full costs, benefits, specifications and contact details are in the links below:

Sponsorship packages

Advertising rates for the event programme

Aberdeen Performing Arts living wage

Call for Hospitality and Tourism employers to help make Aberdeen a Living Wage City

A plan to make Aberdeen a Living Wage City. which was launched in November 2022, has seen the number of accredited employers grow to more than 80.

Living Wage employers are committed to voluntarily paying staff the real Living Wage, currently £10.90. Living Wage employers in Aberdeen include Aberdeen Performing Arts, Grampian Fasteners and Boozy Ventures Ltd.

The hospitality and tourism sector has faced unprecedented challenges over recent times. Covid-19 and Brexit, combined with rising energy and supply costs have taken a toll on the industry which is also facing recruitment challenges. With record staff vacancies being seen in 2022, attracting and retaining staff is a key priority.

Living Wage accreditation could help hospitality and tourism employers to address recruitment challenges and strengthen job satisfaction and morale among employees as the independently calculated Living Wage is paid to all directly employed staff as well as contracted third-party staff.

In a sector where more than 48.5% of employees are paid less than the real Living Wage, committing to a rate based on the cost of living can aid campaigns to present hospitality as a rewarding industry.

The Living Wage could also have wider benefits for Aberdeen’s local economy. Research from the Smith Institute found that if 25% of low earners had their pay raised to the real Living Wage, this could deliver a £3m boost to Aberdeen’s local economy through increased consumer spending.

If you are interested in finding out more about how the real Living Wage can benefit your organisation, please contact or visit

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Connect with Aberdeen Inspired CEO Adrian Watson

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, is available to meet with local businesses and organisations to discuss all that Aberdeen Inspired is doing to support the city and the regeneration of Union Street.

To arrange to meet with Adrian, please email

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Business Improvement District (BID) meeting dates announced

All levy paying businesses within the BID are invited to join their neighbourhood BID network.

The next meetings are:

West End/Uptown - June 6 at 7.30am

Union Street – June 15 at 3pm

New members are always very welcome. Please contact to register for a meeting or visit here for more information.

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German Doner Kebab Aberdeen branch to open on Union Street

A global fast-food firm selling “healthy, gourmet kebabs” is taking over a former shoe shop in Aberdeen city centre.

German Doner Kebab will convert the old Shoezone building at 111-115 Union Street, next to McDonald’s. It will bring its signature dish - the original German doner kebab – to the city but will also sell wraps, burgers, veggie options and much more.

Council planning chiefs signed off on the proposals, saying the new diner would help with ambitions to regenerate Aberdeen’s Granite Mile. They say diversifying away from traditional retail uses will help the heart of the city to prosper.

Further details on when the new German Doner Kebab Aberdeen venue will open are expected in due course.

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Thistle Gem and Poundland join Aberdeen Gift Cards

Thistle Gem and Poundland both located in the Trinity Centre have joined the nearly 300 businesses in Aberdeen City already signed up to the Aberdeen Gift Card scheme.

The cards are preloaded Mastercards which can be used in a huge range of shops, hospitality and leisure venues.

For more information on where you can spend your gift card, click here.

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Culture Crawl to return to city centre

Hundreds of fundraisers will take to the streets of Aberdeen for the annual Culture Crawl on Friday 16 June. Now in its sixth year, the event is Maggie’s Aberdeen’s flagship fundraising event.

It challenges participants to complete an eight-mile walk through Aberdeen’s city centre, stopping at iconic venues and buildings along the way. The route changes every year and is always full of surprises!

The Culture Crawl brings up to 600 walkers together to access secret venues, hear live music, enjoy a wee glass of something to celebrate at the end and raise vital funds to support people living with cancer.

Sponsorship opportunities are now open to businesses. As a charity, fundraising events are vital in allowing Maggie’s to deliver its unique programme of cancer support here in Aberdeen.

By sponsoring the local Culture Crawl, local firms can play a key role in celebrating the city centre while helping to raise vital funds.

For further information, contact Ryan Wilson, centre fundraiser, on 01224 612914 or email

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