Police Scotland’s divisional commander for the North-east has praised Aberdeen Inspired’s work to make the city centre not just more welcoming, but safer for the public.

The city centre Business Improvement District (BID) must go to ballot every five years, in line with other BIDs around the country, and recently launched its Back the BID campaign to encourage a positive vote.

The ballot will close on Thursday (June 24), and if successful, the organisation will continue to support local retail, hospitality, and all other city centre businesses until at least 2026.

The team at Aberdeen Inspired share Police Scotland’s North East Division’s ambition to make the city centre a more appealing place for the community to work, visit and wander.

North East Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said: “Over the last decade, there has been significant progress made in making Aberdeen city-centre a safer and more welcoming environment and as an organisation we acknowledge the contribution that Aberdeen Inspired has made in achieving these changes.

“Working collectively to understand and resolve issues is the only approach which has delivered sustainable outcomes for the city-centre.”

Since Aberdeen Inspired has been in action, the North East Division has seen better communication across businesses, with relationships being built across sectors to make the city an enjoyable place to spend time, both recreationally and to work.

Ch Supt Macdonald added: “During this time we have proudly supported Aberdeen Inspired’s significant effort to retain the Purple Flag for an eighth consecutive year, while the relationships we have built with our partners have only been strengthened.

“North East Division remains fully committed to working with all our key partners to ensure Aberdeen remains one of the safest city-centres in Scotland and ultimately, an enjoyable place to live, work and visit for all, particularly during what continues to be a challenging period as we negotiate our way through the pandemic and the changes it brings to our daily lives.”

Aberdeen was recently awarded Purple Flag accreditation for the eighth year in a row, reflecting excellence in the management of the Granite City’s evening and night-time offering as well as in safety and wellbeing.

Managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), Aberdeen was the first city in Scotland to be awarded the accreditation in 2014 and is held up as an example UK-wide, having been reaccredited every year since then.

The BID ballot vote opened on May 13, following a short extension as a result of Covid-19 restrictions where businesses were forced to close temporarily.

Eligible businesses have until 5pm on June 24 to have their say.

Established to help attract, sustain, and boost investment in the city centre, Aberdeen Inspired works to benefit its levy payers, and all those who live, work, shop and visit there.

In addition to the levy payments, which go to support city centre improvements and initiatives, the BID brought in an additional £2million in other funding in 2020, almost double what is collected by levy and an achievement that would not have been possible without Aberdeen Inspired.

In recognition of the challenging times faced by businesses as a result of the pandemic, the levy in Aberdeen would be reduced by half in the first term (2021-22), dropping to just 0.5% of rateable value for the first year.

The BID footprint covers Union Street and the surrounding streets, including Broad Street, Market Street, Bridge Street, Huntly Street and Holburn Junction.

For more information, visit www.aberdeeninspired.com