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...


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.


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.

R2G LogoX

Summer holidays activity!

Calling all school children, we need your help!

Aberdeen Inspired run an on-going civic pride campaign where we encourage local businesses to foster pride in their city centre to keep the area clean and well maintained. 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, therefore we would like to invite our local school children to get involved.

Over the summer holidays we require school children to design a ‘litter mascot’ that we can use on our bespoke signs that will be distributed around the city centre at high litter zones to help make people stop and think before throwing their litter/cigarette butts/chewing gum and bottles on the ground. The mascot can be anything, the more eye-catching the better and can also include our logo. The mascot should be presented on an A4 sheet of paper with the pupils name, primary class and school in the corner. It should also include a short paragraph on why their mascot should be chosen for pride of place on our correspondence.

We have an advertisement in the Raring2go! Magazine summer edition which will be out at the start of June for parents to refer to and we have also distributed a newsletter to all local primary schools.

If each school could gather together the entries after the summer holidays (deadline 24th August) in an envelope and send them to our office address we will inform the winning school and winning individual on Monday 7th September.

If your school would not like to take part in the competition the students can send their entries straight to us at the same address.

The winning mascot will be used in all correspondence to do with littering in our city centre, on our signs, leaflets and website. The winning school and pupil will be presented with a certificate and a special prize for their contribution to keeping our city centre clean and attractive.

For any questions or support please email



Aberdeen Inspired is shining a spotlight on some of our beloved city centre statues.

The campaign received a major boost last year after it received a major six-figure cash injection from Balmoral Group which has been used to fun a number of city centre projects aimed at encouraging the revitalisation of Aberdeen City Centre.

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.

We will be looking to further this project to other areas of our BID zone, please get in contact if you have any queries or ideas at


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 


Our growing Civic Pride campaign is on the right track with our new street art project at Platform 9. 

The busy platform 9 at Aberdeen’s train station is often used by visitors walking to Union Street and is often criticised for casting a negative first impression of the city.

But now, the area has been given a new lease of life in an effort to create a welcoming environment to those passing either to or from the city centre. The project benefited from a successful partnership with The Trinity Centre, Station Hotel and Aberdeen City Council all throwing their support behind the clean up.

The area has seen its plasterboard replaced and its walls whitewashed in an effort to freshen the site up. Some creative street art has also been carried out in the theme of Aberdeen’s Northern Lights.


As part of our attractive city projects, with highly positive feedback from last summer, Aberdeen Inspired funded and installed bunting throughout Union Street.

The bunting which is the length of Union Street, contributed to generating a positive atmosphere and brightening up the city centre, to accompany the glorious weather that Aberdeen enjoyed during the summer.


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 and even provide free Wi-Fi access for visitors to the area.

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, including Wi-Fi hotspots, which will provide visitors with an up to date guide to the city and its sights, shops and restaurants.

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.


Using three empty shops on St Andrew Street, Aberdeen Inspired has worked in partnership with property owners and letting agents to create an innovative solution.

Specially commissioned graphics and signage have transformed the units – with the designs intended to give a glimpse of some of the potential uses whilst providing a more vibrant feel to the street. The contact details for property agent FG Burnett, who are marketing the shops on behalf of the owner, have also been incorporated in the new look frontages to replace the traditional A-boards.

Allan Henderson, newly appointed to the Aberdeen Inspired board to lead the sub-group focusing on the organisation’s Attractive City projects, said: “The pilot scheme on St Andrew Street is already attracting a lot of positive feedback. It has brightened up the area and created a talking point – it shows how quickly a negative can be turned to a positive. By being creative, a small investment can have a big impact.”

Aberdeen Inspired took up the mantle of ensuring Aberdeen, and Union Street in particular, looked as spectacular and dynamic as possible over an unprecedented season of celebration and national focus through the summer of 2012, including Olympic parades, festivals and Royal visits.

A full programme of deep cleaning on Union Street was delivered, including chewing gum, graffiti and stain removal. The work was carried out over a period of 12 nights and an area of 10,000 square metres was covered which required six operatives working overnight from 20:30pm to 07:00am.

The operation removed in the region of 500,000 individual pieces of Chewing Gum and was evidenced by positive feedback from the public, businesses and the media. Aberdeen City Council does not undertake this level of deep clean. Additionally the BID sought agreement with owners of properties to temporarily remove and reinstate the unsightly For Sale and For Lease signs in Union Street for the duration of the Olympic Torch parade being held in the city on 11 June 2012.

Finally the BID was approached by ACC to fund the purchase and installation of some lively bunting in order to give a sense of festive spirit for the Olympic Torch Parade. The BID duly delivered and ensured that Union Street had a fantastic feelgood spirit through the summer.