The chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired has welcomed the successful result of a ballot to determine its future.

A total of 267 yes votes and 33 no votes were returned.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “It is reassuring to have received such overwhelming support from our business in securing a further BID term and I thank our levy payers for this backing to allow us to build on the achievements of the past five years.

“The past year has underlined the importance of working together and our work moving forward will be focused on supporting the city centre in its recovery and continued growth.

“We will of course continue to build on our wide portfolio of events, such as the Nuart international street art festival, which has rightly brought global recognition to this city. However our events are just one strand of our work and of paramount importance in moving forward is Aberdeen Inspired being a key strategic partner in the delivery of the recently refreshed Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan, which will be integral to our city’s recovery.

“Through our recent ballot consultations with businesses there was overwhelming agreement that we need to build from the heart of the city out and use the masterplan as a vehicle of delivery to repurpose the place and make it fit for purpose for the years that lie ahead.

“The city centre is facing well documented challenges, many being no different to any other city across the country and beyond. It will truly take that ‘Team Aberdeen’ ethos to get us through this and Aberdeen Inspired will continue to be that positive voice for our businesses in the city centre and do all in our power to build confidence, attract inward investment and millions more of additional funding, enhance the cultural and events offering and provide a safe and welcoming environment.

“We will not do this in isolation but continue to work with a wide range of partners, not least Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Visit Aberdeenshire and of course our great businesses themselves who do so much for the city and wider regional economy.”

Aberdeen Inspired was established to attract, sustain and boost investment in Aberdeen’s city centre for the benefit of its levy payers and all those who live, work, shop and visit there.

In line with Scotland’s other BIDs, Aberdeen Inspired must ballot the businesses within the business improvement district (BID) footprint every five years.

The successful ballot will ensure it can continue working on behalf of local shops, bars, restaurants, property owners, landlords, shopping centres and all other city centre businesses until at least 2026.

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. An achievement that would not have been possible without Aberdeen Inspired, it means that for every £1 of levy collected, at least £2 is invested in the city centre.

The average levy equates to around £5 per week - at just 1% of rateable value, it is the lowest in the country.

In recognition of the challenging times faced by businesses as a result of the pandemic, the levy in Aberdeen will 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.