Promoting our City Centre

Using every medium to promote Aberdeen City Centre

The introduction of the Aberdeen Inspired brand is part of an integrated approach to the marketing and promotion of the BID, providing a focal point for a range of activity.

From an extensive public relations campaign utilising the mainstream media to traditional marketing and the use of social media specialists to embrace online opportunities our team use every tool available to promote Aberdeen Inspired’s activities.

By raising awareness and provoking interest in the city centre and its attractions the aims of Aberdeen Inspired can be realised, with an emphasis on promoting existing events and initiatives and developing new ideas to increase footfall.

The key aim of the theme is to ensure that Aberdeen is high on the visitor horizon and to tell people what the city centre has to offer by implementing a fully integrated marketing plan

Project updates...

Promoting Aberdeen city centre to encourage footfall


Local artists will descend upon the city centre later this month (July 2016) to do some decorating with a difference as they transform a number of sites.
Guest artists will work on decorative paintings on doors of local businesses, shops and other premises with the aim of brightening up the city centre and creating living art. Locations for the painted doors will start at Langstane Place and Windmill Brae and progress to The Green and Correction Wynd. The full trail will be announced in due course.
This Aberdeen Inspired project will be followed in August by the installation of the Play Me, I’m Yours piano trial, a global sensation which has reached more than 10 million people worldwide.
The brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram, it has seen more than 1,500 pianos installed in 50 cities across the globe, all bearing the message “Play Me, I’m Yours”.
From August 2 to August 21 imaginatively decorated pianos will be placed in a variety of prominent city centre locations ranging from the Castlegate and Union Plaza to the Courtyard at the Academy, with the aim of encouraging people to interact with each-other and express themselves.
The next weekend (Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28) the arches at Union Terrace Gardens will host a Street Art festival. Led by urban and street art artist Karl Porter and up to ten artists, each participant will be given an arch to canvass their art onto, leaving a vibrant, varied and creative colourful space.

Busy pic

Aberdeen Inspired are thrilled to announce Aberdeen’s first ever Christmas Village in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Codona’s.

The Christmas Village includes an open-air ice rink, festive fairground rides, German market stalls and an entertainment marquee.

Open-Air Ice Rink – 11am – 10pm (Mon-Fri) & 10am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)

Get into the festive spirit with this family favourite! Made from real ice, you can glide around the outdoor rink situated across from His Majesty’s Theatre. The rink will be lit by fairy lights in the evening accompanied by Christmas music. Non-skaters can keep warm and enjoy refreshments in the spectators’ tent.

Festive Fairground Rides – 11am – 10pm (Mon-Fri) & 10am-10pm (Sat-Sun) 

To be enjoyed by those who dare! Children will love the Cups and Saucers and Christmas Carousel, while the adults can release their inner child and test their nerve on the Bomber thrill ride.

Refreshments – 12noon – 10pm (Mon-Sun)

Soak up the atmosphere and take a break from the shops with some traditional snacks and drinks.

German Market – 11am – 8pm (Mon-Fri) 10am – 8pm (Sat-Sun)

Browse unique Christmas gifts and purchase stocking fillers for friends and family including traditional wooden toys, confectionary, handmade crafts and much more!

Live Entertainment Marquee – 12noon – 10pm (Mon-Sun)

Enjoy live music and comedy performances Thursday – Sunday or pop in to warm up and enjoy a refreshment

For more details please head to


Aberdeen Inspired has committed to a Swipii trial for 20 businesses to generate increased loyalty for our small to medium businesses in the city centre.

The digital loyalty platform, which has launched in Aberdeen for the first time, aims to help companies bring their customers in more often by allowing them to create bespoke loyalty programmes with a points-based system of unique rewards. Swipii’s iPad-based system allows users to earn points through repeat visits, and unlock rewards offered by the business. Since launching in Glasgow last summer, Swipii has expanded to more than 250 locations across London and Scotland.

One of Aberdeen Inspired’s overarching aims is to increase footfall within the city centre and we are sure that helping outlets sign up to this scheme will help foster a sense of loyalty in the city centre.

We want to strengthen the connection people have with the local area and businesses, and everyone has a part to play. There has been a great response to it so far and we want to encourage the public to take advantage of the rewards that can be taken from it.

Jazz on the green

Aberdeen Inspired supported the fourth edition of Jazz on the Green on the 20th March 2016.

The heart of Aberdeen was transformed into an exhilarating musical showcase of jazz, blues, funk, soul, R&B, swing, bop, vocals and big band! The hot sounds of the Aberdeen Jazz Festival for Jazz On The Green, the city’s one-of-a-kind outdoor music event. After wowing the crowds for four years and thanks to an increased investment from Aberdeen Inspired it expanded to eight stages with seventeen bands set to perform.

Set-up to offer Aberdeen audiences free access to the high quality music of Aberdeen Jazz Festival and to encourage more visitor activity in the Merchant Quarter, the Festival presented music throughout the afternoon on an outdoor temporary stage in the precincts of The Green and the newly refurbished Roof Garden on St Nicholas.

In 2016 we attracted 60% more people than in 2105 and we calculate that economic impact was £58,000 (over 125% increase on 2015).

“This is the kind of event which makes Aberdeen feel like a real city! More, please!”

– Jazz on the Green attendee 


The Pool by Jen Lewin Studio

SPECTRA Aberdeen’s Festival of Light, ran by Aberdeen City Council in conjuction with Curated Place, took place in Union Terrace Gardens and city centre from February 11 to 14 February 2016.

This year’s SPECTRA festival expanded to Marischal College and St Nicholas Kirkyard and included a variety of light installations. Aberdeen Inspired sponsored ‘The Pool’ in Union Terrace Gardens which was a favourite for all ages. The programme featured artists from the UK, Norway, Iceland and Finland and aims to engage with communities from Aberdeen city and beyond.

A massive 35,000+ visitors come along to see our beautiful city in a different light and take part in illuminating journey of discovery through inspiring and interactive light installations.


Union Terrace Gardens was given a festive feel last year as Aberdeen Inspired brought back the popular Ice Rink.

It was more than eight years since the Union Terrace Gardens housed the popular winter attraction, therefore we teamed up with Aberdeen City Council to bring the rink back for a second year in a different location.

The ice rink opened to the public on December 1, skaters paid just £3 to hire skates with all proceeds going to the Archie Foundation.

An Aberdeen couple brought extra sparkle to the ice-rink with a unique marriage proposal. Dressed in disguise as Spiderman, Kyle skated towards his very own Mary Jane, and only revealed his true identity when he went down on one knee.




The past and present came together in Aberdeen as the city centre plays host to a new historical celebration.

Aberdeen Inspired supported and staged the Bon Accord to Bayonets, an action-packed programme of events offering visitors a glimpse at the rich and varied heritage of the north-east. Shows, re-enactments and demonstrations took place throughout the heart of the city, including the Marischal College quad, Castlegate, Queen’s Terrace Gardens and Union Terrace Gardens.

Easter Programme Of Activities

Aberdeen Inspired’s Easter programme of activities were a resounding success again this year with a specially created roller rink installed in Union Terrace Gardens as well as a whole host of children and family fun events take place across the city centre.

More than 1,200 skaters took to the rink throughout the Easter holidays, with Aberdeen Inspired enabling the £2 per person per session cost to be donated directly to local charity Cash For Kids who pocketed around £3000 in total.

Nearly 400 people also showed their adventurous side by taking part in the fun zorbing sessions, again with all money raised through this going towards the charity’s continued support of disabled and disadvantaged local children and young people in Aberdeen and the surrounding area

Wild dolphins

Aberdeen’s eagerly awaited Wild Dolphins, a project to which Aberdeen Inspired donated £20,000, have made their official first appearance all over the city.

The city is hosting the Wild Dolphins tourism and charity project, which has seen 50 life-sized fibreglass sculptures of bottlenose dolphins – usually spotted off the North-east coast – popping up all over town.

Organised by Wild in Art with The ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the dolphins can be seen until the end of August, before being auctioned to raise money for the two charities.

Locations include the beach, Aberdeen Harbour, parks, city centre, shopping centres and golf courses as well as Torry Battery, a known hotspot for watching real dolphins.

Each of the brightly coloured dolphins has been sponsored and then designed by an artist, commissioned from across the UK to create a one-off design specifically for Aberdeen. Mary Butterworth of the Butterworth Gallery at Ballogie was employed as the project’s art co-ordinator as a direct result of Aberdeen Inspired’s donation

granite city expo

Aberdeen Inspired sponsored 10 city centre businesses to exhibit at Granite Expo 2014.

Aberdeen Inspired took the opportunity to not only showcase individual businesses but also use the event as an excellent advertisement for the vibrancy and diversity which exists within the city centre.


Aberdeen Inspired commissioned and financed the creation of a piece of street art in the Adelphi, an area just off Union Street, which was in need of smartening up, as well as attracting graffiti.

Local artists created two walls which referenced local industry and scientific excellence, thus appealing to many age groups and sectors of society.

We have found that “casual graffiti” is now much rarer here, and the artists who created the pieces make it known that they “claim ownership” of their work.


PLAYpark – a participatory art project held in Rubislaw Terrace Gardens that provided a cultural weekend for all ages and supported by Aberdeen Inspired!

PLAY park was a two-day arts programme transforming the currently inactive environment of Aberdeen’s Rubislaw Terrace Gardens into an artistic space, showcasing a variety of cross art forms in a convenient location.

PLAY park aimed to dramatically alter the public’s perception of Rubislaw Terrace Gardens and of art, aspiring to provide a new experience of art within a familiar setting. The project seeked to reactivate the underused park space by reaching out to a new audience by seducing them through play into conversations about their city.

PLAY park explored the action of ‘play’ as something fun, but also broached the topical debate of play as a serious and pedagogical mode of learning. Play for an adult can sometimes be internalised, a silent creative thirst quenched through reading, creative writing or painting. PLAY park aims to bridge the gap between child and adult ‘play’ by encouraging a physical interaction with art.

PLAY park revisited Aberdonian history in an attempt to reactivate it’s underused park space. Outdoor recreational games was reintroduced to the park in the form of mini golf, over-sized version of chess, commissioned carnival games with a difference and much more. Such over-sized recreational games were a tradition in Aberdeen parks in the past but have been lost and forgotten in recent years.

Visit Aberdeen

We have forged a partnership with tourism marketing body VisitAberdeen who will drive forward with plans to promote the city and raise the profile of Aberdeen to a consumer audience.

Aberdeen Inspired continues to support and collaborate with Visit Aberdeen, in order to increase visitors and businesses to the city centre.

More information about Visit Aberdeen can be found on their website: Visit Aberdeen

As part of the 2013 Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Aberdeen Inspired sponsored a free all day event called Jazz on the Green.

This event was extremely successful and attracted over 2,000 people to the Green and the surrounding venues including Old Kings Highway, The Tunnels, Carmelite and instrument workshops in R&B Music.

Despite the weather, the event was highly successful, attracting more people than previous years, with universal praise of the standard of perfromance and talent on display.

The World Heavy Oil Congress is the leading event for the global heavy oil industry. The last Congress delivered over 135 presentations and welcomed 1,000 delegates from 30 countries.

These delegates rarely get to visit the city centre so Aberdeen Inspired arranged a locally flavoured marketplace within the main hall of the exhibition in an area featuring John Lewis, McCalls and Edinburgh Woolen Mill.

As well as an unprecedented deep clean of Union Street – and the addition of some lively bunting Aberdeen Inspired ensured there was a strong awareness of the activities taking place during the build-up to the parade.

A colourful Aberdeen Inspired supplement appeared in the press days before the Olympic Torch arrived in the city – highlighting the events and providing loads of offers and vouchers from the businesses in the city aiming to capitalise on the huge increase in footfall.