Ahead of emergency legislation being discussed at Scottish Parliament today, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired and National Chair for Scotland of the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM) has issued this statement on behalf of Aberdeen Inspired.

"This is a hugely challenging time for the country, but we will come through this and the time will come when we need to breathe life back into our town and city centres. The BIDs will be a key partner in this, in not only providing the business resilience support in the here and now but also being in a shape to be able to deliver on their wider programme of events and initiatives that will drive footfall back into the heart of our communities.

Aberdeen Inspired is important in this respect and clearly welcomes the move by Scottish Government to defer on businesses paying the BID levy in the coming year. Any support from them in lieu is at least sufficient to allow us to address many of the essential aspects of our business plan and to continue to work with a host of partners at a local, national and international level in bringing cutting edge projects to the city that has brought us hard earned recognition from near and far."