About Aberdeen Inspired...

Allan Henderson

Message from the Chair

As Aberdeen Inspired enters a new and exciting chapter in its history after its recent re-ballot success, I’m thrilled to have been appointed chairman of an organisation that I’m proud to be a part of.

I’ve been involved with the organisation from the outset and through this time, and through my own business interests in the city centre, I’ve seen the positive change that it has brought about to the benefit of the BID members and to those that visit, work and live within the area. With a projected minimum of £6.5million earmarked for investment in the city centre by the organisation in the next five years, this is only set to grow and I’m eager to continue playing a role in fostering positive change in the city.

I’ve lived and worked within Aberdeen all my life and hold a strong desire to shine a spotlight on the positive aspects of our city along with coming together to build on the positive foundations that are already in place.


From the desk of the CEO

As the Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired I would first like to welcome you to our website.

We planned, supported and carried out many successful projects throughout the company’s 5 year term. Most recently we spearheaded the overwhelmingly successful street art festival, Nuart Aberdeen. Working with the Nuart Festival in Stavanger, Aberdeen Inspired invited a celebrated collection of internationally renowned artists to leave their mark on our city’s walls. As well as beautiful art pieces, unique to Aberdeen there was a full program of artist talks, street art walking tours and film screenings. We are hoping to continue walking tours throughout the summer months, announcement coming soon.

Over the past few years, Aberdeen Inspired has continued to work hard to help improve the city centre, working with several partners we transformed the roof of St Nicholas into a green space called The Roof Garden, giving shoppers and visitors a place to relax. The area benefited from additional planting, seating, a picnic area and a children’s play park. Since the opening of the Roof Garden in October 2015 the area has been used for several festivals, including the popular Jazz Festival and events all of which have improved footfall and dwell time to the city centre.

One of our key objectives here at Aberdeen Inspired is to make the city centre a safe environment for visitors day and night. In 2016 we were accredited for the fourth year running with the desirable Purple Flag status, we have been working closely with our partners through a weekend partnership group to ensure this status is maintained and over time improved.

2016 also seen the inaugural Aberdeen Comedy Festival, spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and in partnership with Breakneck Comedy, the comedy festival involved over 250 comedians, 25 city centre venues over 23 days. The festival was well received and we hope to build on this in 2017.

Aberdeen Inspired are also playing their leading part in Operation Union Street Rejuvenation, which aims to restore pride into Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare. The scheme will include a “deep clean”, whereby pavements, pedestrian areas, street furniture, and doorways will be power washed. The plans also mean re-paving, upgrading, removing and painting street furniture, bollards, railings and benches. We are delighted to be playing a major part in this development.

But, our projects don’t stop there – please navigate to our projects page to find out more about what we have been up to.


Adrian Watson  I  CEO Aberdeen Inspired


The BID Area

The BID for Aberdeen covers the heart of the city centre and contains the main retail, office and leisure areas.

AI-Bid-AreaThe BID area was defined as a result of detailed consultation with representatives of each of the key business sectors to gain an understanding of the extent and strength of support for inclusion within the area.

View BID area

Police woman

The BID Levy

Aberdeen Inspired Business Improvement District is led and funded by the city centre business community. Its aims are wide ranging, designed to reinvigorate the city centre for the benefit of all who work, live, shop and visit.

Businesses are working together to invest collectively in their environment, delivering initiatives and improvements over and above those delivered by Aberdeen City Council.

The aim is not to act as a substitute for central or local government, but to invest in additional projects to deliver on the objectives set out in the business plan.

While participation is mandatory for businesses within the BID area, others from outside the defined area with an interest in promoting the city and having a voice in Aberdeen Inspired are able to engage and make a contribution.


The BID Period

Aberdeen Inspired is now operating in a second 5 year period to 2021 following the successful ballot of businesses in 2016.

During the eighth year of operation of the BID, the Board may choose to seek renewal of the BID. At this point businesses will be able to evaluate the impact of the BID and vote in a further ballot which would see Aberdeen Inspired operate for a further 5 year period.


The BID Business Plan

As we navigate through the next chapter in the story of Aberdeen Inspired, the opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the past five years is as welcome as the chance to look forward to what the future may hold.

Our 2016-21 Business Plan documents the first five years of the city’s Business Improvement District and, most importantly outlines our vision for the next term and the £6.5million of investment that could bring.

Aberdeen Inspired was born with the remit of representing the interests of its levy payers and we have made it our mission to listen to those businesses – to find solutions and identify opportunities.

Now more than ever, as the north-east economy is tested by the downturn in the oil and gas sector, we need to be focused on ensuring a vibrant and prosperous future. If successful in gaining a second term, we will work tirelessly to drive footfall to the BID and increase dwell time.

The BID provides a unique opportunity for city centre businesses to work together for the common good and a brighter future. It is one I hope our levy payers will grasp when the ballot opens.

View Business Plan