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Suspended Signage project now complete in the city centre

The final installations of the illuminated LED suspended signage in Aberdeen are now complete and visible in twelve locations across the city centre. The aim of the project is to highlight some of the city’s most renowned streets offering clearly identified civic gateways, key streets and strategic connection points to help make Aberdeen a leading pedestrian friendly city. The signs were designed to add interest to and enhance how some parts of the city centre are experienced and improve wayfinding both of which are key aims of the City Centre Masterplan.

The installations have been made possible due to funding secured by Aberdeen Inspired from the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund in 2019 specifically for the design and install of new signs to encourage pedestrian movement within the city centre.

After initially suffering delays as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, planning consent was successfully obtained in April 2021, and the first installations commenced on Belmont Street and Langstane Place in October 2021 with the final sign installations completed over the summer. Locations for the illuminated signs include Merchant Quarter, Shiprow, Crown Street, Windmill Brae, George Street and Chapel Street in the West End.

Also included in the Project was the backlighting of The Langstane [The Lang Stane] Standing Stone which sits recessed into an alcove at the south-east corner of 10 Langstane Place at the junction of Dee Street. The Stone is thought to have been part of a stone circle on the west side of Denburn and appears on a G&W Paterson's 1746 map of Aberdeen. The illuminating of the stone will help to draw attention to Aberdeen’s fascinating history and artefacts that could be overlooked.

The signage has also piqued the interest of other Scottish cities who have contacted Aberdeen Inspired about how they could follow suit.

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“It is more important than ever to highlight what the heart of Aberdeen has to offer. We’re keen to encourage people, whether local or visiting, to explore the city and support local businesses. The suspended signage scheme assists in making the city safer and more welcoming to visitors and highlighting some of our many places of interest within”.

Aberdeen is now in its ninth year of having a Purple Flag status which can only be achieved by providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents in the city’s evening and night-time economy.

When asked about Aberdeen’s purple flag status, Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“Aberdeen Inspired is proud to have led the charge to achieve and maintain this accreditation, which recognises the work that has goes in to making the city centre more culturally rich. Our strong partnership approach in the city centre recognises that safety is fundamental to its well-being”.

The presence of the illuminated signs can only but enhance Aberdeen’s Purple Flag status by providing a welcoming signposting and increased safety.

Businesses that are located in the signage areas are also acknowledging the benefits of the street sign illumination.

When asked to comment about how the new signage has impacted business Stuart Milne, General Manager at Finnies the Jewellers on George Street remarked:

“The initiative by Aberdeen Inspired to attract funding for the illuminated cross-street signs was truly inspiring! To identify George Street in this way was welcomed on every level from the obvious to welcome visitors and tourists staying at local hotels, to the students who throng to the North East of Scotland College.

George Street has a great heritage and one the city should be proud of. From the businesses of yesteryear to the many and varied skills and businesses that trade here now”.

Keith Martin, Proprietor in the Shiprow Village commented:

“The sign has boosted activity in the area and interest in Shiprow Village, helping to establish it as a destination in its own right, particularly at night when the sign is illuminated. Also, to have the two signs, one at the Union Street entrance and the other at Market Street has been really beneficial to contributing to the area’s identity as a night-time destination to Eat Food. Drink Drinks and Enjoy People.”

The illumination on the signs will be seasonally adjusted and be visible from late afternoon or evening until the early hours of the morning in line with the night-time economy. Exact hours will be refined on a location-by-location basis, as appropriate. A portion of the Scottish Government funding has been allocated to the long-term maintenance of the signs by local company Scotia Installations.