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Welcome to your latest IN Touch newsletter

We all want to see Union Street looking up again and there is a power of work going on by so many different organisations and people to make that happen.

But one way to help our most important thoroughfare on its path to regeneration is to actually look up – as in explore all the potential waiting to be unleashed on the upper floors of Union Street.

There is a vast resource to be tapped in the unused and under-used space that is above the ground level.

It isn’t hard to imagine these upper floors being brought back to life for a range of uses, with a heady and healthy mix of residential, office, arts and culture, education, health and well-being.

Just think of how Union Street might be if it was packed with people, attractions, and businesses from the pavement level to the top floors of those great, granite buildings.

But how do we get our upper floors from where they are now to where they could be in the future?

The best way is to map out what exists today and plot a route to how it could be best used tomorrow.

This is why Aberdeen Inspired has now commissioned a feasibility study on the upper floors of Union Street, thanks to a generous grant of £15,000 from Aberdeen City Council's UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

We have asked the highly-respected town and city centres specialist Iain Nicholson MIPM, founder of The Vacant Shops Academy to lead this vital – and very exciting – upper floors study.

Hopefully, the result will help key partners, stakeholders and agencies in the city create a strategy to work together and bring the upper floors back to life – and, by extension, help regenerate all of Union Street.

If we want a better future for Aberdeen we need to not only look ahead but also look up. That work starts now.

Best wishes,

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive, Aberdeen Inspired


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Image credit - Aberdeen Inspired

Time to look up to help regenerate Union Street from the upper floors down

A new drive to breathe fresh life into the upper floors of Union Street buildings is being launched by Aberdeen Inspired to help the ongoing campaign to regenerate the Granite Mile.

The Business Improvement District is commissioning a feasibility study to create a snapshot of how many of the floors above street level are unused or underused and how they could be made viable and vibrant again.

This exciting new project comes after Aberdeen Inspired was awarded £15,000 in funding from Aberdeen City Council's UK Shared Prosperity Fund the study. You can read more about it here.

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That’s a wrap as the biggest-ever Aberdeen Restaurant Week serves up boost for the city

Service is over for the biggest-ever Aberdeen Restaurant Week but the boost it gave to city centre businesses lingers on.

Many of the 81 restaurants, cafes and bars who took part have praised the hugely popular foodie fortnight for bringing discerning diners into their venues – and the city centre.

The celebration of the best in the city’s dining – organised by Aberdeen Inspired - wrapped on Sunday, February 4 after 14 days of offering fantastic deals and special menus across an array of cuisines. You can read more about it here.

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Image credit - Spectra

Spectra arrives in a welcome blaze of glory and flood of visitors

Let there be light… Spectra has burst into life bringing a blaze of glorious colour to the heart of the Granite City.

Scotland’s Festival of Light will transform city landmarks including Union Terrace Gardens, Remembrance Hall, and Marischal College into stunning artworks for four days as the brilliant event marks its 10th anniversary.

Working under the theme Connections, the festival is expected to attract thousands of people to the city centre – something warmly welcomed by Aberdeen Inspired chief executive Adrian Watson. You can read more about it here.

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Image Credit - Port of Aberdeen

Cruise ships set sail to bring thousands of visitors to Aberdeen

News that the Port of Aberdeen is gearing up to welcome more than 100 cruise ships annually by 2027 has been welcomed as a major boost for the Granite City’s economy by Aberdeen Inspired.

The projection comes as 50 cruise calls have been confirmed so far for 2024 – potentially bringing a £4.5 million windfall to the north-east this year – with 34,000 cruise visitors expected this year alone.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, has said this high tide of visitors will be a major boost for the local economy. You can read more about it here.

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Image credit - @abdninspired

Welcome jump in footfall for Aberdeen city centre

Figures showing a jump in city centre footfall were welcomed by Aberdeen Inspired.

Latest statistics from Springboard show nearly 20 million visits were made to the city centre last year, an increase of 12% compared to 2022. That includes1.9 million visits over the Christmas period.

The news was welcomed by Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, who said increasing footfall demonstrates Aberdeen city centre is “very much open for business – although clearly there is still much to do.”

You can read more here

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Book your place at a major Scottish tourism conference heading for Aberdeen

Tickets are now available for Scottish Tourism Month 2024: The Signature Conference which will be at P&J Live on Tuesday, 12th March, and Wednesday, 13th March.

Delivered by leading tourism and hospitality trade bodies, STA, ASVA and ASSC, the event will bring together inspiring speakers from the industry and beyond, to explore the challenges and opportunities on the horizon for the sector.  

From the latest insights on policy, the economy and travel, to motivational stories of business success, the programme is designed not only to empower businesses with industry-leading research but also offer advice on how this can be applied in practice.

You can view the programme here

You can book you place here

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