A key member of our team involved in business and community outreach is Nicola Marie Johnston, Scotland's first Evening and Night Time Economy Manager appointed by Aberdeen City Council & Aberdeen Inspired in spring 2017. Since being appointed she has become critical to Aberdeen city centre’s evening and night time economy with her visionary approach acting as a bridge between city growth and development,
Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan, local licensing and the business community. Nicola is the voice of Aberdeen’s evening and night time economy focusing on strategic issues of national importance where legislation itself can be influenced to support the industry. Over the course of the year, Nicola has launched Scotland’s first night-time economy conference inviting speakers from across the UK to discuss challenges faced by the industry, developed a city-wide integrated strategy to support and enhance Aberdeen night time industry and promoted the city through a collection of city-wide events.
Inspired Nights on The Green is Aberdeen Inspired’s street food market; celebrating the best in Aberdeen & Shire food traders, promoting farm to fork and the slow food movement, while reactivating the original use of the historic market space on The Green. The monthly event welcomes a diverse age mix, locals, tourists, families, and professionals, all enjoy organic, locally sourced food with entertainment from local artist painting live, and a backdrop of Nuart street art murals. Going forward we plan to provide a platform for local businesses to host a pop-up station at the market to attract new cliental and increase the number of local artists music and visual providing entertainment.
Aberdeen Restaurant Week (ARW) takes place twice a year, the event is a marketing platform for the local independent and national brand restaurants promoting the businesses across Aberdeen the Shire and beyond. The first ARW, attracted over 221,000 sessions to the website, and had restaurants fully booked, having to open on their day off. The event was a great success and attracted many locals, and tourists back in to the city to try the showcasing menus. The second ARW has incorporated a sustainability and educational aspects, with chefs providing live demonstrations, talks provided by hospitality professionals to university’s and schools, as well as a slow food, food economy and sustainability and zero-mile methods being key themes.
Nicola also leads on the city’s Purple Flag accreditation which saw Aberdeen City Centre reaccredited for the 5th time with the ATCM Purple Flag Award and cited as the UK’s lead in providing a safe, secure and vibrant night time economy. Nicola also leads on the city’s Purple Flag accreditation which saw Aberdeen City Centre reaccredited
for the 5th time with the ATCM Purple Flag Award and cited as the UK’s lead in providing a safe, secure and vibrant night time economy. This award is only possible due to the strength in the Purple
Flag working group which brings together over 30 partner organisation including private sector, local authorities and community councils. Aberdeen’s Purple Flag working group create projects which protect the community such as Ask for Angela, Street Pastors Safe Space Bus, and Counter-Terrorism Resilience Training for local businesses and taxis. To celebrate the city’s continued success, we plan to incorporate the Purple Flag colour scheme into future floral enhancements across the city centre.
Nicola is now working with Harvard University for a research study on the Night Time Economy, collaborating with night managers across Europe to enhance strategies and city development, is a board member for the NTIA representing Scotland’s night-time economy and working with London’s Mayor Office to promote Women’s Night Safety Charter.