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Welcome to Issue 4 of IN Touch, Aberdeen Inspired’s new look regular update on everything happening in Aberdeen city centre right now.

The final mural for Nuart Aberdeen 2021 was completed last week by Helen Bur, a massive intimate portrait of a couple, the artists friends, and their baby painted on the gable end of the Meridian building on Union Row.

The London-based artist spent six days creating the work, a “sequel” to her previous Nuart piece, which adorned the side of Greyfriars House before the building was demolished in December last year. The now-gone mural depicted the same couple featured in her latest work.

In an interview with Scott Begbie, Entertainment Editor of the P&J and Evening Express, Helen said: “These are my two friends, Alice and Hugo. I painted them on each end of Greyfriars House before, and since then, I’ve ended up living with them, and they’ve had a baby. So they’ve become quite important people in my life.

“So I thought it would be really nice to develop their story on the wall here with their new addition, Ruby.”

The completion of Helen’s mural also coincided with World Breast Feeding Week 1-7 August and is thought to be one of the largest murals in the world celebrating the joy of breastfeeding.

Although the street art festival looked a lot different compared to previous years, it achieved its aims of reconnecting artists and their art with people and the city . Attention-grabbing murals were created on six city walls and members of the public from around the world took part in creating the largest paste-up wall in the world located in the Green.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired said: “Our hope is that as we brought world street art to the streets of Aberdeen, people will see it, appreciate it, soak it up, and then take it to the next stage – particularly the younger generations. Perhaps, building on that, they go see the wonderful art gallery we have and the other cultural offerings in the city.

“The festival has been really well received and the public feedback has been amazing. Walking tours will start at the end of August and we expect people will be keen to join a tour and take in the art. Nuart Aberdeen has brought so much to the city, we know people come from far and wide to see the works, it’s certainly put Aberdeen on the map as a street art destination.”

Look out for details on our social media channels on how to book a space on a walking tour.

Photo Credit: Clarke Joss Photography

Pedal your business to support the Tour of Britain

Businesses, this is your time to shine and get creative to help support the Tour of Britain when it arrives in September! The city will see hundreds of cyclists race into the city centre on 12 September and the organisers are asking businesses to get creative to support the Tour of Britain by dressing their windows with a cycling design or theme - the more creative the better!

Businesses who take part will be judged with three great prizes up for grabs to help promote their business. Worth thousands of pounds, by taking part you could win a radio campaign, advertising, website or video production.

Both Aberdeen City and Shire councils are delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain professional cycle race to the area and are asking businesses to show their support in lots of ways.

As well as the window dressing competition business can also show their support on race day itself by offering spectators and cyclists special discounts. There’s also a downloadable business toolkit with social media graphics you can use to help promote your involvement.

Read more about how to get involved and the details of the competition here.

New illuminated street signs reach final milestone

A suspended signage scheme, which will see the installation of a series of twelve new illuminated street signs later this year has reached a critical milestone following the submission of all detailed sign drawings to Aberdeen City Council for final approval.

The suspended signs concept aspires to create a series of twelve highly visible, illuminated architectural signs which will draw people’s attention to some of the city’s most renowned streets.

This scheme has been made possible by Aberdeen Inspired, after securing an additional £400,000 grant from The Scottish Government Town Centre Fund  in 2019 for the design and install of the illuminated street signs to encourage pedestrian movement within the city centre.

Progress was stalled during the pandemic, but work resumed in January with a 2021 installation target in sight.

The signs, designed to work with the existing city wayshowing totems also installed by Aberdeen Inspired in 2016, will clearly identify civic gateways, key streets and strategic connection points to help make Aberdeen a leading pedestrian friendly city.

Light The North

The Light the North lighthouse trail officially went live on Monday!

For ten weeks from 9 August to 17 October you can seek out the Lighthouses all over the city and shire. Fifty 2.5 metre tall lighthouses and ninety smaller lighthouses are on display, and will attract people to the city to explore and enjoy on the trail!

If your business is near a lighthouse, this is the perfect opportunity to encourage people to come and visit your temporary attraction. The Lighthouses feature artwork from professional artists, including some Nuart Aberdeen artists, community groups and schools. The designs have taken inspiration from lighthouses, the sea, local communities and more.

When the trail ends the Lighthouses will be auctioned off in support of CLAN Cancer Support, a cherished local charity who support people and communities across the north-east and Northern Isles who are facing cancer.

There is a trail map and an app available to allow people to hunt down each of the sculptures. Go to the light the north website for more information and remember to tag @abdninspired, @lightthenorth and @claincancersupport in any city centre lighthouses you find.

Stories from the North East – Aberdeen Arts Centre

Aberdeen Arts Centre are thrilled to announce ‘Stories From The North East’ - A Nicht O Doric New Writing, kindly supported by The Doric Board!

Join them on Saturday 28th August 2021 at 7.30pm for a night of original work from the affa talented members of the Mearns Writers group and performed by a cast of professional local talent.

Tickets are ‘pay fit ye can’ and the performance will take place in their socially distanced auditorium - this means your household is guaranteed to be 1m away from all other attendees during the show. You can also watch the performance from the comfort of your own home by selecting our streaming ticket option! Get your tickets here.

That’s not all, they want you to be a part of this event!

They are inviting amateur performers to select a piece from our online catalogue and then submit a video of their performance for inclusion in our online festival. The selected videos will be uploaded to Aberdeen Arts Centre’s website and shared across social media. They also want to encourage people to explore new writing and storytelling by creating their own works about what the North East of Scotland means to you. This may take the form of a story, song, dramatic monologue or maybe even a painting or drawing - it’s up to you! Their online catalogue will focus on works in Doric and Scots language, but they are looking to work with performers from all backgrounds and cultures who have links to the North East - so send in your stories, up to 5 minutes in length, to them before 23rd Aug 2021!

Find out how to submit your entry here.

Time to Welcome Back students

The start of the 2021/2022 university semester is fast approaching and there will be lots of new students making their way to Aberdeen. In partnership with the University of Aberdeen, we are working on a #WelcomeBackABDN students’ campaign.

The University of Aberdeen are developing a microsite filled with deals for the new students for their Welcome Week. So, how can you help? We’re looking for levy payers to come up with offers and tell the University about them. This could include discounts, giveaways, whatever you want – it’s down to you to make the most of getting your deals in front of the new intake!

To promote your offers and deals specifically to all the new for students, get in touch with us at info@aberdeeninspired.com.

Final call for ARW Feedback

Restaurants, we still want your feedback!

We're planning the next Aberdeen Restaurant Week and we really want to make it work for you, as well as making it bigger and better than ever before! Head on over to our survey before it closes and tell us what you’d like to be included, when you’d like it to take place plus a few additional questions.

Take an art walk through the West-End

We’re back with the second in our series of Nuart Aberdeen self-guided tour videos, this time featuring the murals in the West-End. It’s a fantastic way to explore the city centre in a way you haven’t seen before! Watch the video here.

Starting from Willowbank Road next to Country Ways and ending at Rosemount Viaduct, it’s a short route but there are plenty of lovely businesses for you to take in on your way, as well as enjoying the amazing art. Treat yourself to lunch at Foodstory, Charles Michies or Almondine, or even do a spot of shopping at Hamish Munros or Tigerlily boutique en route!

Guided walking tours will start again at the end of August, so keep your eyes peeled on our socials for when booking goes live!

Afternoon Tea Week

Did you know that from 9-15 August it’s Afternoon Tea Week? Afternoon Tea Week celebrates the great British tradition of Afternoon Tea, and is the perfect excuse to catch up with loved ones over a cuppa and some fancy pieces – it’s also the perfect opportunity to draw customers in to use their Aberdeen Gift Card.

There are plenty of lovely cafés, restaurants and shops that are part of the Aberdeen Gift Card scheme, so why not create an Afternoon Tea deal of your own while Afternoon Tea Week runs? If you aren’t part of the scheme, please e-mail info@aberdeeninspired for more details on how to sign up.

Mental Health Aberdeen

Looking for something different to keep your children entertained in the last few days of the summer holidays? Mental Health Aberdeen are calling on all creative kids and aspiring artists to design a new look for their bench that sits gazing out over Aberdeen Beach.

They would love local children aged 4-16 to let their imaginations run wild and come up with a design is totally original to them. Once completed, please take a good photo of your finished design and email to fundraiser@mhaberdeen.org.uk making sure they can see the whole design both back and front.

If you have any questions about the competition, drop them a message on Instagram or email fundraiser@mhaberdeen.org.uk, the closing date is Monday 16th August 2021.

Under The Hammer in new hands

Aberdeen hospitality operator, The McGinty’s Group, is taking over much-loved city centre pub, Under The Hammer, following its closure last year.

Director of The McGinty’s Group, Allan Henderson, said: “As a local company, we are delighted to bring life back to this Aberdeen institution...our passion for regenerating iconic venues in the city has always been a big part in the company’s development so it is no surprise that when Under The Hammer sadly closed last year, we immediately started looking into the possibility of reopening it."

“We have built a strong name for the group and the venue is another great addition to our portfolio which will hopefully play its part in the revitalisation of the city centre and enhance the local hospitality industry.”

It’s great news to see such an iconic venue get a new lease of life, and we know that the many regulars will be overjoyed to see their favourite local return. Read more here.

Ellon P&R to Garthdee Transport Corridor Study

AECOM has been appointed by Aberdeen City Council (ACC) supported by Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council to undertake a Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG)-based appraisal of options for improving transport connections (particularly public transport and active travel connections) from the Park and Ride in Ellon, Aberdeenshire to the Garthdee area in Aberdeen City, and on related public transport routes.
The study has two main stages:

• Initial Appraisal: (The Case for Change): Identifying the key problems, issues, constraints and opportunities relating to transport on the Ellon P&R-Garthdee corridor
• Preliminary Appraisal: Developing options emerging from the work undertaken in the Case for Change and appraisal of these against Transport Planning Objectives (TPOs) and the STAG criteria of Environment, Safety, Economy, Integration, Accessibility and Social Inclusion, with additional consideration of option feasibility, affordability and public acceptability.

The Preliminary Appraisal stage of the study is currently progressing and to support this, an online interactive consultation has been launched to provide an opportunity for feeding back on the options under consideration.

TEDx Aberdeen proves big hit

In case you missed it, TEDx Aberdeen just happened here in Aberdeen and it was amazing to see the interest in this important inaugural event for the city. With a host of speakers, videos, and Q&A’s there’s no doubt this was a well timed, much needed event. The start of many we hope!

Post wrote all about it on their blog, tap the here and find out more on TEDx Aberdeen!

Lights, camera, action for the Bon Accord Centre

In January, the Bon Accord Centre put forward plans to try and secure a brighter future by transforming the old Laura Ashley unit into a new cinema which will hopefully lure more people into town. Council planners have now approved the plans for the four-screen cinema in the upper floor of the mall!

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said the decision was “very welcome” at a time when serious effort is going into breathing new life into the centre.

He said: “There has been a real challenge to the high street but to have these ambitious plans approved is certainly very welcome.”

The move from purely retail to a wider mixed-use facility has the potential to help to attract more people to the city, encourage them to stay longer and make use of other facilities in the area. Read the full article here.

Bubble CiTea opens its second Scottish location at Union Square

Bubble CiTea, a British brand proudly serving fresh Fruit Tea, Milk Tea and Crushed Ice drinks, opened its second Scottish location at Union Square at the end of July. As well as creating a number of new local jobs, the location offers Union Square shoppers a new product offering and experience.

Ryan Manson, General Manager at Union Square said: “We’re always looking for innovative and exciting brands, and are so pleased to have Bubble CiTea open their second Scottish location here at Union Square.

Our customers love unique brands who offer something different and the team at Bubble CiTea are so enthusiastic about building a special experience into the customer journey, making them an excellent addition to the line-up at Union Square.”

Bubble CiTea has been popular with Union Square shoppers, with a wide menu for them to choose from. Make sure you try it soon!

We're Hiring - Evening & Night Time Economy Manager

This is an exciting opportunity for an energetic and self-motivated individual to join us, and work in partnership with the Council and other stakeholders to continue to develop our ‘Purple Flag’ accredited City Centre.

You will be a ‘champion’ for the businesses from the evening and night time economies, supporting them in their recovery and liaising closely with them and their representative bodies, whilst understanding their business needs and aspirations at both strategic and operational levels.

Read the full job description and how to apply here.

Closing date for applications is Friday 27 August 2021

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