The future of Aberdeen city centre has been the focus of great debate in recent years and playing a key role in that conversation is a vital part of Aberdeen Inspired’s remit.
By serving as a single voice for more than 750 businesses within the BID, the organisation is able to have an influence on major issues impacting upon the area.
This co-ordinated approach is designed to encourage commitment to the city centre through engaging with politicians, community bodies and other stakeholders.
Aberdeen Inspired appointed a new city centre manager as it further strengthens its links with businesses within the area. The newly created role is supported by Aberdeen City Council.
With more than 25 years in the food manufacturing industry, Mr Cooper was most recently franchise owner for a number of McDonald’s restaurants across the north-east including its outlet on Aberdeen’s Union Street.
This role involves working closely with Aberdeen City Council alongside the management of agreed city centre projects and events including the implementation of Operation Union Street Rejuvenation.
Mr Cooper will also form another valuable link between Aberdeen Inspired and its 700 levy payers, liaising with businesses to ensure their day-to-day requirements from the organisation are being met. He will also have a key role to play in the management and co-ordination of ‘on street’ activities within the city centre.
Aberdeen Inspired are looking to develop ‘Alive After 5’, an award-winning initiative pioneered by Newcastle’s BID, the concept links the day and night time economies with a package attractive to both businesses and consumers within the city centre. This includes free/discounted parking after 5pm, this is especially relevant in the current business trading conditions. Though extended hours by retailers lie at the heart, the business benefits also have potential for restaurants, bars, theaters and cinemas.
We recently held a seminar at the Carmelite hotel for businesses introducing Alive After Five, we are currently reaching out to businesses that did not register their interest for the seminar so that we can move forward.
Aberdeen Inspired will continue to be the voice of businesses through lobbying on various issues.
The past few months has seen Aberdeen Inspired in partnerships with key stakeholders lobby the Scottish Government on rising business rates in the city centre.
We have also played our part in lobbying Aberdeen City Council on parking within the city centre and we hope to address this through our ‘Alive after Five’ campaign.
Free public space Wi-Fi has been a long-term objective of Aberdeen City Council (ACC) for several years but it has never been realised on any scale. Similar projects elsewhere in the UK, especially the one led by Norwich BID, have proven to be very popular with businesses and consumers alike. They encourage increased dwell time and offer improved consent-based data analytics to BIDs and their levy payers, the latter of whom also have improved marketing opportunities. Aberdeen Inspired plan to progress this as part of the City Centre Masterplan in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.