Attractive City Centre

Enhancing and maintaining an attractive city centre

Aberdeen’s stunning granite architecture is behind the proud tradition of Scotland’s very own Silver City, providing a unique and enchanting streetscape.

As an organisation we want every single visitor to Aberdeen city centre to enjoy their experience, leaving the heart of our beautiful city with every intention of returning to live, work or relax.

Encouraging more people to use the city centre is a multi-faceted challenge, but one of the cornerstones is creating an environment that residents and visitors alike can be proud of.

Preserving, restoring and highlighting Aberdeen’s rich built heritage is a key theme and significant investment is being made by Aberdeen Inspired in a wide and varied programme of maintenance and enhancements throughout the zone – from simple but effective measures such as cleaning and repairing guttering to the regeneration of specific pockets of Aberdeen city centre.

Project updates...


The original Nuart Festival has been held annually in Stavanger since 2001, Nuart Aberdeen launched in April 2017, as a UK exclusive. Widely considered to be the world’s leading celebration of Street Art, Nuart are experts in producing one of Europe’s most engaging and constantly evolving public art events.

Working in partnership with Nuart Stavanger, Aberdeen Inspired invited a celebrated collection of internationally renowned artists to leave their unique mark on our city’s walls. Production of art pieces took place in early April, the festival also included a range of street art tours, artist talks, debates, parties and workshops. With the addition of a strong community programme, the festival was one of the most ambitious of its kind across the globe and gave Aberdeen residents and visitors, inclusive of all ages and interest, a chance to engage with the project.

Nuart Aberdeen received worldwide attention with press and bloggers travelling from America and Europe to experience the festival.

Union Street

Aberdeen Inspired gives city centre businesses the chance to apply for funding to help improve the appearance of their property.

The business organisation has set aside a fund to support members of Aberdeen’s BID zone who are committed to enhancing the aesthetic of their shop or building. A maximum of 10 grants of up to £1,000 are available, with the shopfront improvement scheme the latest in a host of initiatives that the organisation has undertaken in an effort to enhance and maintain the city centre as an attractive destination for residents, visitors and those who work within the area.


Led by Aberdeen Inspired and working in partnership with Aberdeen city council, Operation Union Street Rejuvenation hopes to breathe new life into Union Street.

The scheme includes a “deep clean”, first discussed last year, whereby pavements, pedestrian areas, street furniture, and doorways would be power washed. The plans would also mean a resurfacing of pavements, upgrading, removing and painting street furniture, bollards, railings and benches.

The Mercat Cross in the Castlegate will have it’s weeds removed and receive a polish and upgrade.

Meanwhile, a new city centre masterplan “hit squad” is to be set up charged with cleaning, mending and painting any fittings which have fallen into disrepair.

Cash will also be put towards two pavement scrubber machines and four additional street sweepers for the street.


St Nicholas Kirk

The historic St Nicholas Kirk Colonnade on the city’s Union Street will now be seen in a different light thanks to the latest creative lighting project in Aberdeen city centre.

Following on from the success of its creative lighting project within Golden Square, the organisation has overseen the installation of a series of lights that will illuminate the monument in an effort to highlight it to passers-by. The project, which has been carried out by Balfour Beatty Engineering Services on behalf of Aberdeen Inspired, aims to boost the area’s appeal to visitors as well as enhancing the city centre’s reputation as a safe and secure destination.

As well as adding to the aesthetics of the area, creative lighting projects also have an important role to play in showcasing that specific area as a safe place to visit. Our work through the city’s Purple Flag accreditation has found that appropriate lighting is integral to the safety and security of people at night so it is important that we continue adding to the area’s lighting provision.

The popularity of our creative lighting projects has been fantastic so far and we’re actively encouraging levy payers to come forward with any ideas for future projects. The Citadel and West End are just two locations that have already been mentioned but we’d be delighted to hear any thoughts on potential areas, buildings or landmarks that could benefit from this type of illumination.

Golden Square 

With thanks to Balmoral Group, creative lighting has been installed in Golden Square, aimed to enhance the square’s reputation as a popular and safe night time meeting point, the iconic 5th Duke of Gordon statue, alongside the surrounding trees, have been given a new lease of life. It is planned the new lights will be changed to reflect certain events and occasions, which for example could be seen as red adopted in support of Aberdeen FC and blue switched on for St Andrews Day.

Locators of the top of Saint Nicolas Centre17/4/15Picture by HEATHER FOWLIE

The upper deck of the St Nicholas Centre has been earmarked as the location for the organisation’s next city centre project as it aims to make a number of additions to the space in an effort to encourage more people to use it on a regular basis.

Nearly £200,000 of funding has already been secured, with Aberdeen City Council committing £50,000 to the project. A further £50,000 has been pledged by social enterprise Aberdeen Greenspace , around £70,000 will come from Bon Accord & St Nicholas, £20,000 from Aberdeen Inspired and £10,000 from Atkins and Creative Core.

Plans for the once popular lunch-break spot are at an early stage but could include improved seating, innovative planting and improved lighting which all would come together to aid the revitalisation of the area alongside enhancing its appeal to families. A portion of the money secured from Bon Accord & St Nicholas will also be going towards the repair of paving stones in the area.

We want to really encourage people to make more use of the space and we want to introduce little changes to the area that will breathe new life into it. A big part of this will be adding to the greenspace that is already there and we’re currently looking at innovative approaches to planting that will hopefully bring something different to this specific part of the city.

Team Aberdeen Adopt an Area 4

The Adopt an Area Team Aberdeen campaign is committed to fostering pride in the heart of the city by encouraging residents, visitors, businesses and other stakeholders to join together to enhance its aesthetic appeal.

We have devised an ‘Adopt an Area’ scheme which aims to transform neglected parts of the city through successful partnership working with various groups and businesses within the area.

The first area to be spruced up as part of the scheme is located on the corner of the city’s College Street and Bridge Street. The area, which has often been criticised for its unsightly appearance, has had a number of raised flower beds made from recycled timber, along with a thorough deep clean from Aberdeen City Council.

Volunteers from Aberdeen City Centre Community Council, Aberdeen Inspired and Skipton Building Society have also come together to give the area a new lease of life.

Our Adopt an Area campaign is something we will like to roll out to many different areas of our BID zone, if you would like to get involved we are always looking for volunteers, please contact 


Aberdeen Inspired, working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, installed 60 hi-tech new solar powered bins in the city centre.

The ‘Big Belly Bins’, as they are affectionately known, are fitted with waste compactors which ensure they need emptied less often than standard designs.

The innovative new bins have proved to need emptying 7 time less than standard bin designs. They use wireless technology to alert authorities when they are full.

The project will help prevent the problem of overflowing bins, reduce litter on the streets, and cut down on unnecessary work as they only need emptied when full. As well as benefiting the council, who contributed half of the £246,500 project cost, the bins will also help our wider aim to increase footfall in the city centre, generate a favorable environment for the local businesses and make Aberdeen more attractive to visitors.