Aberdeen City Council are to pilot a free parking scheme in four city centre, council owned car parks starting from on 1st October 2018.
The pilot scheme will run for 6 months eliminating parking fees from 5pm to 8am, aiming to encourage consumers to stay longer in the city centre and enjoy Aberdeen’s evening and night time offering. Car parks in the scheme include Chapel Street, Denburn Street, Fredrick Street and West North Street.
Aberdeen Inspired are complimenting the scheme with an Alive After Five campaign, celebrating the diverse and vibrant evening and night time economy Aberdeen City Centre provides. By showcasing the city’s evening offering to ‘Eat, Shop, Drink, and Discover’, Aberdeen Inspired hope to encourage residents to become tourists in their own city and explore all that is on offer. Aberdeen is growing into a 24-hour city, with late night gyms, retail leisure and entertainment facilities available, the city centre is more accessible than ever with something new to discover each time you visit.
Councillors approved the scheme in September 2018 and hope to achieve similar benefits to the local economy as experienced in Newcastle. Newcastle launched Alive After Five in 2010 and have since seen a surge in spend and footfall across city centre businesses. The city estimates that the Alive After Five project has generated £131m over a 7-year period for the local economy.
Aberdeen Inspired recognised the success that the Newcastle BID achieved, following the launch of free parking facilities and an Alive After Five campaign, and introduced the concept to local councillors.
Councillor Marie Boulton, spokesperson for the City Centre Masterplan, said: “Aberdeen City Council is investing in this pilot project to encourage people to spend more time in the city centre in the evenings.
“We are already working with partners, communities and businesses to improve Aberdeen through the City Centre Masterplan, and it’s vital that we make sure our city centre is accessible so that residents and visitors can enjoy its spectacular offering.
“Alive After 5 has the potential to sustain the city’s buzz into the evening and we are delighted to be supporting Aberdeen Inspired in promoting this.”
In 2017, Aberdeen Inspired appointed Scotland’s first night time economy manager Nicola Johnston, who’s key role is to recognise the benefits that this sector brings to the city centre and assist in helping businesses to flourish in our changing economy. Alive After Five is another great step forward in enhancing the night time economy and supportngi business in Aberdeen City Centre.
Adrian Watson, chief executive officer of Aberdeen Inspired, commented “Alive After Five is part of a long-term strategy for the BID, focusing on improving footfall and spend within the cities diverse evening and night time economy.
“The free parking pilot aims to give consumers, tourists, and residents the opportunity to increase their dwell time in the city. We are delighted that Aberdeen City Council and other partners are supporting Alive After Five and encourage local businesses to support the project.”
City Centre businesses are already recognising the benefits that the parking pilot scheme and the Alive After Five campaign will bring to the city. Bon Accord & St Nicholas Shopping Centre will mirror the councils parking scheme and offer free parking in Harriet Street and Loch Street from 5pm to 8am throughout the pilot period.
Craig Stevenson, Centre Manager of Bon Accord Shopping Centre, commented: “We are delighted to be included in this project that aims to enhance our city centre and make it more accessible for everyone. Our parking facilities are conveniently located for consumers to enjoy an evening meal at Marischal Square, late night Christmas shopping at Christmas or bowling at Shiprow.