A scheme of suspended signage in Aberdeen City centre has taken an important step forward having secured approval from Aberdeen City Council's planning department to proceed. Work will take place over the summer as contractors have been appointed to manufacture and install the new signs at twelve locations.

Brought about as a direct result of lobbying by Aberdeen Inspired, funding for the city totalling £1.6 million was granted in late 2019 by the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund which was established to support projects that encourage town and city centres to thrive. Aberdeen Inspired was instrumental in securing this funding for the city through its unique position within the Scottish City BIDs organisation.

Of the funds granted to the city, £480K was awarded to Aberdeen Inspired of which £400K was allocated to developing a new Suspended Signage Scheme for Aberdeen City Centre.

Commenting on the project Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired said “The Advertisement Consent Application approval marks a real step forward for the suspended signage project. Aberdeen Inspired has shown its commitment to supporting our city centre for many years and we were delighted to have been able to secure this funding for the city to deliver this and other important projects.

“We are all aware of the impact of Covid-19 on our lives, businesses and city centres so it’s now more important than ever that we push forward with innovative and beneficial projects like this that deliver meaningful improvements by enhancing streetscape whilst also making Aberdeen safer and more welcoming to visitors and locals. “

“This £400k investment will see new suspended signs delivered at twelve locations in the city centre, enhancing the streetscape and providing fresh signage which will help people navigate both daytime and nigh-time economies. I am sure the investment will be welcomed by all as we continue to work closely with our partners in the council to regenerate our great city.”

“We have engaged at length with businesses throughout the city centre on the suspended signage plans and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and support for its installation".

Welcoming the news, Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “At a time when all efforts are being made to safely welcome visitors back to the city centre, it is incredibly welcome news that the suspended signage project is on track for completion later this year. Recent engagement with businesses has highlighted the need to continue to make the city centre a welcoming place for visitors and the new suspended signage will help people to explore different parts of the city centre as we continue to work towards recovering from the impact of the pandemic.”

Ewan Mclean, General Manger at The Spiritualist in Aberdeen eagerly awaits the installation of the new signage and welcomed the engagement and progress made by Aberdeen Inspired, commenting “The signs will provide a sense of place and help define the individual areas and their unique offerings as well as making the city more welcoming for the influx of people we hope to see return to our city centre’s many excellent bars and pubs as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: Once tourism begins to reopen, we want to help encourage Scots to rediscover their own country through day trips, city breaks and holidays - and to support local businesses.

“It’s more important than ever that we make it as simple as possible for visitors to get a sense of our vibrant city and move around it easily. We want them to be able to see and understand the key zones, locations and places to visit and this scheme will really help with that orientation.

“Our aim is to make visitors feel welcome in Aberdeen and to make their visit a ‘must-return’ one. Tourism is a force for good and has a part to play in not just providing jobs and economic benefits to every corner of Scotland but also bringing benefits to wellbeing and society.”

The recent appointment of Aberdeen based Scotia Animations to deliver the electrical works, installation and maintenance of the signage marked another key milestone in the project's process. Scotia specialise in the design, supply, manufacture and installation of festive lighting, banners and street lighting. The company has been responsible for the installation of Aberdeen's festive lighting since 2001 and has previously partnered with Aberdeen Inspired on the acclaimed Nuart project in the city centre. Commenting on the contract award, Steve McHaffie, Director at Scotia said " We are looking forward to working with all partners and stakeholders of the Suspended Signage project which will be an exciting and dynamic addition to the city centre"

Established sign makers John Anthony Signs will manufacture the illuminated signs. John Anthony Signs (JAS) has been manufacturing and installing award winning signs across the globe since 1968. In Aberdeen JAS manufactured and installed all of the distinctive LED colour changing entrance letters and wayfinding monoliths throughout the Bon Accord Shopping Centre as well as all of the internal and external signs at Union Square. Commenting on the contract award, JAS Managing Director David Fagg said, "We are proud to have won the Aberdeen Inspired Street signage project and add this to a long list of successful projects completed in Scotland."