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Aberdeen Inspired welcomes landmark decisions on future of the city centre


Council planners have been tasked with coming up with detailed plans to bring the masses back to the city & in-depth proposals for the pedestrianisation of Union Street, from Market Street to Bridge Street, are to be prioritised in the refresh of the city centre masterplan.

The progress on the refreshed blueprint for the city centre was hailed by Aberdeen Inspired chief executive, Adrian Watson, who said: “Aberdeen Inspired is committed to the delivery of the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) and the decisions taken today are welcomed by so many of our businesses at such a critical time for the city centre.

These ambitious plans are the principles of what many of our businesses have been calling out for. They will add further value to our city’s transformation, ensuring it remains relevant and a place that people will enjoy in the years to come.

“Nobody is blinded by the challenges facing towns and city centres across the country and beyond and we need to embrace this much needed strategic change to our own streetscape that can act as a catalyst for further investment from across the sectors and partnerships, in helping create a more vibrant, attractive city centre that we can all be proud of. We now need to push on with delivery.”

The final plans are expected to be determined by councillors in November, making a decision on the many regeneration projects that have emerged. Read more here.

Return of Nuart Walking Tours

Learn about the roots of the Street Art movement and join our expert guides for a walking experience unlike any other.

Our free guided tours will run every Saturday at 11am until the end of October, departing from the Bon Accord Rooftop Garden. You’ll take in some of the work from this year’s artists representing the spectrum of Street Art together with smaller, hidden art treasures and well-known works from previous Nuart Aberdeen editions. Read more about our walking tours here.

Tour tickets must be pre-booked to ensure a safe experience for all. This helps us ensure we have enough volunteers to keep you safe on the streets and provide track and trace if needed in line with COVID-19 regulations. Book here.

Our first walking tour is now fully booked, but you can still book for a later date. Why not take yourself on a self-guided tour? Check out our West End and George Street videos we made to help you guide yourself on your own walking tour.

Are you interested in a private tour? These can be requested but are subject to the availability of one of our guides, email info@aberdeeninspired.com for more details.

Suspended Signage reaches final milestone

The Suspended Signage project team at Aberdeen Inspired are delighted to share a sneak peek of one of the first nearly-completed signs, expected to arrive in the city within the next few weeks.

The signs, forming part of a suspended signage scheme, will see the installation of a series of twelve new illuminated cross street signs in Aberdeen City Centre.

The suspended signs concept aspires to create a series of 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. No BID levy is being spent on this project.

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.

Aberdeen Discretionary Business Funding – Round Three

Aberdeen City Council has launched a third round of Discretionary business support funding from 17 August to support local business recovery.

The fund is aimed to mitigate any short-term issues experienced by businesses struggling as a result of the Coronavirus restrictions. The priority for support within this third round will be Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure businesses, including supply chain services and face to face businesses.

One-off grants of between £2,500 to £15,000 are available to eligible Aberdeen companies who can demonstrate significant losses to their business as a result of the Pandemic. To check your eligibility and apply please go to the link here.

Exclusions apply to businesses which are in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register, have received substantial assistance to date or you have exceeded the permitted subsidy allowance. The deadline to apply is 7 September.

Aberdeen Performing Arts ready raise the curtain & True North returns in September

Aberdeen Performing Arts are excited to announce that they will be reopening the box office counters at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre from the 7 September 2021 with performances starting across their venues the same month. We know they have working hard behind the scenes to get ready to reopen their doors to the public. In the meantime, take a look at the fantastic listings here.

APA are also delighted to announce that True North will be returning on 23 - 26 September 2021! Rise up for the return of live music and what is sure to be an unforgettable weekend! Check out the True North line-up here.

Hospitality businesses can look forward to the return of audiences to the city centre who will be looking for great pre and post show venues too!

Get geared up to support the Tour of Britain

Mark September 12 in your diary when the Tour of Britain finishes with a dramatic sprint in front of Aberdeen's iconic Beach Ballroom! With cycling legend Mark Cavendish announced as one of the participants, make sure you find your spot along the route to enjoy the spectacle and cheer on the cyclists as they pass.

With more than 10,000 keen cycling fans expected to descend on the city, there are some fantastic opportunities for local businesses to get involved. Find out more by downloading the business toolkit and show your support by displaying the Tour of Britain branding, promoting special offers for spectators and cyclists or even hosting your own Tour of Britain competition. Participating businesses stand a chance to win a range of fantastic prizes including a radio campaign, advertising, a new website or an exclusive video production. Read more here.

Gift Card ‘Spend it Soon’ campaign launched

The Aberdeen Gift Card scheme launched in November 2021 has been hugely successful with over 5000 cards sold to date. Valid for 12 months from the date of purchase some of these cards will expire in November so to remind and encourage gift card holders to spend their cards before they expire, we will be launching a ‘Spend it Soon’ social media campaign.

Aberdeen Inspired can provide scheme members with social media graphics to promote participating businesses and encourage customers with gift cards to spend it at your business.

View the full list of participating businesses here and if your business is interested in promoting the Spend It campaign please get in touch. If your business has not yet signed up to the gift card scheme please contact us at info@aberdeeninspired.com for details. It’s super easy to sign up and completely free to participate.

The curtain comes up at Tivoli Theatre!

After being closed for 17 months, the Tivoli Theatre is thrilled to announce that their curtain will rise again on August 29 with MJ Legacy, a tribute to the ‘King of Pop’. We can’t wait to attend the first show so look out for highlights on our social media stories.

With the reopening in sight, make sure and head over to their website to check out what's on and grab some tickets because the interval is over!

National Hospitality Day – 18 September

UKHospitality is partnering with a taskforce of the hospitality industry’s main trade associations, professional bodies and charities to call on the nation to support our beleaguered sector by visiting their favourite venue on 18 September to celebrate National Hospitality Day.

National Hospitality Day will be a nationwide celebration of our brilliant and resilient hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and foodservice outlets, and the suppliers that support them. It promises to be a showcase of all that’s great about UK hospitality, a collective shout-out for the places we’ve all missed and a financial shot in the arm for a sector that’s been hit hardest by Covid. This dedicated day will provide a chance for the country to say “welcome back, we’ve missed you”.

Find out more or register your interest here.

‘Sea’ you soon at the Maritime Museum

After a long period of closure, Aberdeen Maritime Museum opened its doors to the public last week.

Close to the busy harbour, on the historic Shiprow, Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city’s long and often dramatic relationship with the sea, from the earliest days of trading, fishing and shipbuilding to the discovery of North Sea oil and gas, and Aberdeen’s place today as a leader in global energy transition.

Open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm, and Sunday 11am-3pm. Admission is free, show your support for local history and pay them a visit!

Read more about Aberdeen Maritime Museum here.

Foodstory launches pop-up portable café

Popular Aberdeen vegetarian and vegan coffee house, Foodstory, has launched its own pop-up portable cafe on Aberdeen’s beach promenade. Located at the Fittie end of the beachfront, owners Lara Bishop and Sandy McKinnon opened the business last week in a bid to support their cafe on Thistle Street, which lost around £60,000 last year due to the pandemic. They are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm at the beach.

If you can’t make it to the beach, head to the popular café & shop on Thistle Street, open daily!

Read more here about their pop-up café here.

Trio of new offerings at Trinity

The Trinity Shopping Centre are delighted to welcome Dream Beauty Studio to their line up of shops within the centre. After their Aberdeen Market salon closed down a year ago, they are now back in the city centre ready to tend to all your beauty needs. Find out more about them here.

Blend Juice Bars have also launched in The Trinity Shopping Centre. Blend makes all their smoothies and juices with 100% freshly squeezed fresh fruit. Complementing their extensive range of smoothies and juices you also have the option to grab a bubble tea or an icespresso, or add some popping bubble pearls to any drink. Pick from a wide range of fruity flavours such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, mango, passionfruit, green apple or lychee.

While you’re busy shopping, make the most of the opportunity to have your car washed to a high-quality finish. Choose from Panev’s valeting service and extensive list of hand-wash services. Panev’s will be carrying out a monthly prize draw for all their customers where anyone who has had a service will be entered into a prize draw for the following month, this will be ran via their social media channels. Bookings and further enquires can be made for any service by contacting the team on 07425222145

After a tough year for everyone, it’s great to see some new life being injected into the city centre!

#WelcomeBackABDN 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 ready for their Welcome Week. We’re inviting levy payers to create discounts, giveaways, whatever suits your business – to make the most of this great opportunity to attract the new intake!

To promote your offers and deals exclusively to all new students, get in touch with ausa-marketing@abdn.ac.uk

World’s Oldest Toy Store opens at Union Square

After a long-anticipated wait, the doors officially opened for Hamleys at Union Square. The new store is located on the ground floor next to mobile brand 02 and shoe retailer Dune. As well as having created several new local jobs, the store transports customers to a world of theatre and fun.

Ryan Manson, General Manager at Union Square said “We know that our customers want an experience when they visit and Hamleys is a brand that ticks all the boxes having continually evolved and captured people’s imagination for more than two centuries. As a globally recognised name, Hamleys is a welcome addition to Union Square, and I’m sure it will be a huge hit with families in Aberdeen.”

Scotland Loves Local Fund

The £10 million Scottish Government Scotland Loves Local Fund, a multi-year support scheme, aims to encourage people to think local first, supporting businesses and enterprises in their community. A total of £2 million-worth of grants will be available this financial year.

This fund is administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the national body for towns, on behalf of the Scottish Government. The key aim of the fund is to build the wealth of local communities, revitalise local places, town and city centres, or 20 minute neighbourhoods, increasing footfall and activity by encouraging communities to ‘think, choose and love local’, improving, supporting and promoting local places, and communities.

Applications for the fund are open from Monday 9th August 2021 until Friday 1st October, 5pm. Find out more and apply here.

Alzheimer Scotland Business Lunch

Alzheimer Scotland’s very popular Business Lunch is back, and would love for you to attend! Join them at the Aberdeen Business Lunch at 12pm on Tuesday 28th September, venue TBC.

This is a great opportunity to meet with a diverse audience of business people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. On arrival street food, tea and coffee will be available followed by an engaging presentation on the work of Alzheimer Scotland is delivering with Scottish business. This will include an introduction to their award-winning dementia friend’s session and hear about their new Brain Health Scotland initiative.

Read more here.

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 10 Sept 2021

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