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In Touch Website 10

Welcome to your latest IN Touch newsletter

Here at Aberdeen Inspired we are passionate about encouraging people into the centre for an evening out at our great restaurants, bars and other attractions – but just as important is helping everyone get home safely at the end of the night.

That is why we are delighted to have worked closely with Stagecoach Bluebird and the city council to see the return of night buses to serve Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire every Friday and Saturday from this weekend right through to the middle of January.

I’m sure the services will prove extremely popular, allowing people to enjoy all the great things on offer in the city centre over the festive season, from Christmas nights out to the panto –not least the Aberdeen Christmas Village – without the worry of how to get home.

An added bonus is to have the night buses start from this Friday, 20th October, when Aberdeen Cocktail Week is in full swing, drawing hundreds of people into the city.

My hope is the services prove so successful in the coming weeks it leads to long-term, sustainable night-time buses all year round – something I know will be welcomed by not only passengers but all our hospitality industry.

Speaking of bringing people into Aberdeen, it was wonderful to see the Port of Aberdeen celebrate the end of a record-breaking cruise season for the city with 43 ships calling in.

Make no mistake, the thousands of passengers pouring into the heart of Granite City are making a massive difference to businesses, from retail to hospitality. We have already had many levy payers expressing their delight at what some say is their best season in a while.

With even more ships already booked in for 2024 – 55 to date – it is clear the cruise sector is setting sail towards a very bright future for Aberdeen.

And it just underlines that whether you are arriving by road, sea, rail or air, Aberdeen is a wonderful place to work, live and play.

Best wishes,

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Inspired


Night buses Marishal College credit Stagecoach

Image credit - Stagecoach

All aboard…. night buses are back for the festive season

Night buses are making a welcome return to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to help people enjoy the city’s restaurants, bars and venues over the festive season.

The expanded Stagecoach Bluebird night network will run on Fridays and Saturdays – starting from Friday, 20th October, during Aberdeen Cocktail Week – thanks to funding from Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council.

The night buses will support the recovery of Aberdeen’s night-time economy, encouraging more people to enjoy the city’s restaurants, bars and other venues by offering a safe way home for revellers and hospitality workers.

The routes will serve many locations throughout the city, as well as major north-east towns such as Stonehaven, Portlethen, Banchory, Westhill and Ellon. Customers can travel to any stop along the route.

You can read more about the welcome return of night buses here.

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Get ready to mix it up and have some fun… Aberdeen Cocktail Week is back

Let’s have a toast to the return of Aberdeen Cocktail Week with its biggest mix of masterful mixology and fine food to date, running from (18th October) to Sunday 29th October (now extended by two days due to recent adverse weather).

More than 30 bars are taking part and there will be a line-up of exclusive events over the course of the hugely-popular festival.

Venues from the newly opened Shapeshifters to cocktail hot spots including Orchid, The Spiritualist, Ninety-Nine, The Ivy Lodge, Resident X and The Old Workshop have signed up to take part.

The seven-day event is a celebration of the city’s thriving cocktail culture and gives cocktail mixologists the opportunity to craft a variety of exclusive drinks for wristband holders keen to sample something different or try out a new venue.

Many of the venues taking part in Cocktail Week also accept the Aberdeen Gift Card, set up by Aberdeen Inspired to help boost local business. AWC participants accepting the Gift Card include Orchid, Rev de Cuba, Faffless, Siberia, Chop, Noose and Monkey, Chaophraya and The Pig’s Wings.

And to get you in the mood, we here at Aberdeen Inspired will be sharing some fantastic cocktail recipes with you during Aberdeen Cocktail Week, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for details.

Aberdeen Cocktail Week wristbands are priced at £12 or £9 for students and Blue Light Card holders and can be collected from Siberia Bar and Hotel.

For more information, tickets, and a full list of participating bars and events visit

Budget logo V2

Have your say on proposed cuts to Aberdeen City Council’s budget

Aberdeen City Council is giving the public a say on difficult decisions around spending plans and proposed budget cuts.

The local authority is facing a funding shortfall of £83 million over the next four years – including £35 million in 2024/2025.

It has now launched a second phase of budget consultation on options drawn up by council officers for making those savings – the same options that will be put before councillors before they set the budget next year.

The people of Aberdeen are being asked to say which options they would choose – and comment on how each proposal might affect them if they are made a reality.

The online consultation – including a built-in calculator to show savings – is now open until November 12.

You can take part in the consultation here.

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Image credit - Cafe Andaluz

Granite eateries urged to sign up now for their slice of the next Aberdeen Restaurant Week

Aberdeen Restaurant Week will make a triumphant return from Monday, 22 January, to Sunday, 4 February 2024 – and Aberdeen Inspired is urging levy-paying cafes, bars and restaurants in the city centre to sign up now.

Hugely popular with both businesses and customers, Aberdeen Restaurant Week is an ideal showcase for the range and quality of brilliant eateries in the Granite City, while bringing more people into the city centre.

And coming at a traditionally quieter time of year, it’s a fantastic way for businesses to boost customer footfall while putting their outstanding offerings in the spotlight.

To take part, restaurants simply need to offer a unique ARW fixed price menu for a set price of £10, £15, £20 or £25 (or all four!) a Tasting Menu or special event (price flexible/set by restaurant).

To find out more and to sign up visit here.


Aberdeen Arts Centre celebrates 60th birthday with powerful new play – and a commitment to fostering professional theatre at its redeveloped Children’s Theatre

Aberdeen Arts Centre is celebrating its 60th birthday this week and marking this memorable milestone –with a new evocative play, The Maggie Wall, running from 18 October until Saturday 21 October.

Not only will it be part of a week of special events around the anniversary, The Maggie Wall will also be the launchpad for the future of the centre’s historic Children’s Theatre as a brand new space to foster professional theatre in Aberdeen.

We caught up with actor Blythe Jandoo and Arts Centre director Amy Liptrott – who also directed the play – to find out more about the show and the plans for the Children’s Theatre.

You can read all about it here. Read the review here.

Charlie House Santa Run 3 credit James Murison Photography

Image credit- James Murison Photography

On your marks, get set, go and sign up for Aberdeen’s Santa Run

Aberdeen’s Christmas is set to hit the ground running with the return of the hugely-popular Santa Run on Union Street.

Christmas fans from across the north-east are invited to sign-up for the festive fun, pull on Santa’s traditional red-and-white robes, and run or walk the length of the Granite Mile – all in aid of Charlie House.

It’s expected hundreds of Santas – made up of friends and families of all abilities, including wheelchair users – will do the Yuletide dash on Sunday, 19th of November.

They will not only enjoy a memorable, fun event but also boost the charity which aims to improve the quality of life for babies, children and young people in the north-east of Scotland who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and to provide support for them and their families.

Entry fees are £15 per adult, £10 per child, £40 for a family of two adults and up to three children, and £12.50 for wheelchair users and a parent/carer. The entry fee includes a Santa suit, a bib number, and a finisher’s medal.

Register and find out more information here.

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Record-breaking cruise ship season brings wave of success to Aberdeen businesses

Aberdeen is now in the “premier league of UK cruise ports” thanks to a record-breaking cruise season at South Harbour, with 2024 on course to be even better.

The Port of Aberdeen welcomed 43 cruise calls between May and October this year and already 55 calls have been confirmed so far for 2024.

And local businesses in the city and shire have benefitted from the increase in cruise tourism this year, with cruise calls to Scotland generating an average spend of £134 per passenger per call.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Many of our levy payers have told us businesses is booming, with some delighted to report their best season in several years, thanks to the arrival of thousands of passengers.”

You can read more about the cruise ship success story here.

Meet The Levy Payer: James Dun on Belmont

James Dun on Belmont is on a mission to make people look and feel great – and that includes their own new salon.

The hugely popular hair and beauty business – co-owned by Dean Walker and Duncan Wiseman - has just moved from James Dun House to a stunning new home at The Academy on the corner of Belmont Street.

We caught up with Dean to hear more about James Dun on Belmont, the exciting plans for the coming months and his thoughts on operating a business in the heart of the Granite City.

Read Dean's interview here.

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

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