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Welcome to your latest IN Touch newsletter

Nothing spells out the success and popularity of our vibrant ABERDEEN letters more than the fact they have produced not just one, but two iconic images for the Granite City in the past fortnight.

The official opening of the Port of Aberdeen’s magnificent South Harbour will forever be associated with the photo of the Princess Royal walking past the Hollywood-style sign as she ushered in a new era of opportunity and prosperity for our city.

Then days later, the eye-catching letters provided what is destined to become an image that will become synonymous with Aberdeen, sitting in their new home for the festive season at Union Terrace Gardens with the magnificent His Majesty’s Theatre creating an evocative backdrop.

Both at the South Harbour and now in the gardens, people have rushed to take their own photos – and many selfies – of the letters before posting their snaps and their glowing reviews online of what the letters mean to them and to the city.

And I have no doubt the glittering sign and its ever-changing display will become even more popular and attractive as the twinkling glow of Christmas comes closer. They really will light up Union Terrace Gardens, bringing cheer in the dark winter months.

This is exactly what the team here at Aberdeen Inspired wanted the letters to be, wherever they are placed – an instantly recognisable symbol of the Granite City and everything that is vibrant, exciting and, yes, fun about where we live.

But don’t take our word for it… come down and see them for yourself, take all the pictures and selfies you want, then share them far and wide.

You can help make ABERDEEN shine brightly around the world.

Best wishes,

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Inspired


From HRH to UTG for ABZ letters

The giant ABERDEEN letters have arrived in their next home – have you spotted them yet?

The 2m high letters have taken up residence among the plants and flowers of Union Terrace Gardens and can be seen from Schoolhill, Union Street and Union Terrace.

The sign, which has featured in thousands of photos and selfies since it first appeared at the city’s Castlegate, will remain at Union Terrace Gardens over the autumn and winter.

The letters will be programmed with colours and displays to celebrate Halloween, Bonfire Night and the festive season – so be sure to check them out!

Share your pics on social media with the hashtag #abzletters and don’t forget to tag us too @abdninspired

Read more here.

Watch the Aberdeen Letters being transported from the South Port to Union Terrace Gardens in the video above.

(Video credit - Allan Smith (Evil Genius), Luxous Group LTD and Barry Thackery)

Ous square Copy

Aberdeen Inspired welcomes Our Union Street action plan to revive the Granite Mile

Aberdeen Inspired has welcomed a five-point action plan set out by Our Union Street to revive the Granite Mile.

The community campaign has distilled 10,000 ideas from the public and local groups and organisations on the future of the street down to 17 themes and now created five action areas to map a future for Union Street.

The action points are: Brighten The Streets; Fill The Units; Use The Space, Tell The Story and Engage The People.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “These five action areas are setting out a roadmap to a better future for the most important thoroughfare in our city, Union Street.

You can read more about the Our Union Street plans here.

Christmas in the Quad Louise Kendal

Photo credit - Louise Kendal

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as festive season events have been announced for Aberdeen

Traditional favourites lined up include Christmas Lights Switch-on Parade, Aberdeen Christmas Village including the popular Curated In The Quad Christmas Market and a family QR code sculpture trail.

And there are new attractions to add even more sparkle to the yuletide heart of Aberdeen, with a ferris wheel at the Christmas Village and festive lighting in Union Terrace Gardens – where the Hollywood-style ABERDEEN letters already have pride of place.

Here are some dates for your diary to help you plan your fun this festive season:

  • Aberdeen Christmas Village – Thursday 16 November – Sunday 31 December 2023
  • Curated in the Quad Christmas Market at Marischal College – Weekends only (Friday to Sunday) from 17 November to 23 December 2023
  • Christmas Lights Switch-on Parade – Sunday 19 November 2023
  • Christmas QR Code Sculpture Trail – Friday 1 December – Sunday 24 December 2023
  • Nativity Scene – Monday 4 December 2023 – Friday 5 January 2024 (Blessing Event: 4 December)
  • Carol Concerts - Saturday 16 December 2023
  • All events are subject to planning and licensing permission.

Full details of the Christmas in Aberdeen events will be announced shortly.

Read the full story here.

Copy of In Touch Website 41

City centre venues gear up for Aberdeen Cocktail Week

Whether you prefer your drinks alcoholic or soft, shaken, stirred or on the rocks, Aberdeen Cocktail Week promises to have something for everyone!

Almost 30 city centre bars and restaurants are taking part in the event, which runs from October 18-24 and offers wristband holders access to a special cocktail week menu at every participating venue.

The menus feature cocktails created exclusively for the festival, with at least one priced at just £5 in every venue.

There's also a brand-new programme of special one-off events, perks and discounts.

With others still to be announced, the confirmed venues can be viewed here.

Wristbands can be bought online here. You can then choose to have it posted to you, or you can visit an exchange point – such as Siberia on Belmont Street – to swap your digital ticket for a band.

All ticket types give you access to Aberdeen Cocktail Week for the full duration of the festival.


Photo credit - Aberdeen City Council

Return of fireworks display will be spectacular start to Aberdeen’s Winter Festival

Aberdeen’s Winter Festival is set to start with a bang when the city’s fireworks display returns to the Beach Esplanade on Sunday, 5th November for the first time since 2019.

The free event, organised by Aberdeen City Council and hosted by Northsound 1’s Jeff and Lauren in the Morning, will begin with a charity firewalk, provided by Inspire, from 6:30pm, with the main fireworks display at 7:30pm.

Created by fireworks and pyrotechnics specialists - 21CC, the display promises to dazzle crowds and entertain young and old with this year’s theme of Aberdeen, with attendees invited to listen out for songs that describe the city.

The spectacular display will herald the Granite City’s popular Winter Festival, including Aberdeen Christmas Village and its Curated In The Quad festive market, organised by Charlie House in partnership with Aberdeen Inspired, providing a platform for local businesses and creatives.

You can find out more about the Aberdeen Fireworks Festival here

Shape Shifters bar

Scotland's first combined cocktail bar and escape room experience opens in Aberdeen

A new cocktail bar and escape rooms, combining creative drinks and immersive adventure, has opened its doors in Aberdeen city centre.

Located on Windmill Brae, ShapeShifters is the latest venture from Hollie and Gilan Kelly, the team behind the award-winning Breakout Games.

Spread across 6,500ft, the venue houses several purpose-built escape rooms, offering the chance for players to immerse themselves in worlds of mystery, fantasy and excitement as they try to solve tricky puzzles and challenges!

Representing a £500,000 investment, the new venue is the latest boost to the current efforts to revive Aberdeen city centre as a destination and will help to build the Granite City’s night-time economy, as well as creating 15 jobs.

Click here to read more.


Iconic Granite City buildings will shine a light on breast cancer awareness

Aberdeen’s Marischal College and His Majesty’s Theatre will be lit up in a spectacular array of colours in aid of a breast cancer awareness campaign.

The two buildings – both synonymous with the Granite City – will be a sea of pink, purple and teal, the colours of the charity Make 2nds Count, on Friday, 2nd October, which is Secondary Breast Cancer Day.

The Aberdeen buildings will be joining a host of other famous UK landmarks, such as the Falkirk Wheel, Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and Blackpool Tower, which will be showing their true colours in support of the charity which aims to shine a light on issues around secondary breast cancer.

You can read more about the Shine A Light campaign here.

Meet The Levy Payer: Signature Menswear

As the owner of Signature and Signature 2 on Union Street, Patrick Ritchie knows all about making his customers look their best – and that is exactly what he wants for the Granite Mile, too.

Patrick is a passionate advocate for celebrating Union Street as Aberdeen’s “unique selling point” and making it the best it can be for its entire length. He shared his thoughts on the city centre, his thriving business and what he thinks the future holds when we caught up to find out more about Signature Menswear.

Read Patrick's interview here.

Wish to be featured in a coming Meet the Levy Payers interview? Email

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