Our Union Street to receive £400,000 boost from Scottish Government

Bob Keiller is chairman of Our Union Street

THE SCOTTISH Government is injecting £400,000 into the fund to brush-up Union Street.

Humza Yousaf is set to essentially double the pot of cash in the Our Union Street coffers during the final day of the SNP conference in Aberdeen.

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It comes a fortnight after the publishing of the second Our Union Street whitepaper.

Former FTSE 100 chief executive Bob Keiller is continuing to lead the campaign. He said: “People really care about Union Street and want to see it become a thriving thoroughfare once again. 

“Our Union Street has harnessed ideas and people power of thousands of Aberdonians to help focus minds and transform our city centre for the better. 

“We’re absolutely delighted to now have the Scottish Government at our back — with the sort of support that can help to bring those ambitions to reality. 

“It’s an investment in our city that will reap rewards and create a positive lasting legacy. 

“Reimagining and reinvigorating high streets is a Scotland-wide challenge and we hope that the plan of action we’re developing here in Aberdeen can have nationwide potential to help transform more towns and cities.”

The group had received more than 10,000 ideas to regenerate the street from the public. They were soon narrowed down into 17 themes, before the new whitepaper outlined five key action areas.

The campaign is seeking to:

Brighten the street: This is about getting the street clean then bringing extra colour and interest to it.

Fill the units: Create and market a compelling offer then attract great businesses to occupy them and bring them back to life.

Use the space: Use the empty shop windows as a fascinating and often changing street gallery that attracts people to the street and brightens up empty retail units.

Tell the story: Creating a single reliable source of information about what’s happening in the city centre and creating lots of attractions and events.

Engage the people: Recruiting and deploying the volunteers required to deliver the four action areas above.

Speaking to the Press and Journal ahead of his keynote speech at his party’s conference on Tuesday, Humza Yousaf said: “Aberdeen literally powers the economy not just of Scotland, but the whole of the UK.”

“The SNP’s ambition is to turn Aberdeen into the Net Zero capital of Europe.

“And like all capitals, the city deserves a high street it can be proud of.

“So I’m delighted to confirm that the SNP Government will fund the Our Union Street campaign with £400,000 of support to help give this iconic street a fresh lease of life.

“Another SNP down-payment in Aberdeen’s bright future.”

What is Our Union Street?

Our Union Street is a community-led, not-for-profit organisation which is seeking to restore pride and prosperity to Union Street, which sits at the heart of Aberdeen City Centre.

It has been set-up by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council and Opportunity North East, with additional support from Shell, which recently relocated to the street.

AB15 Limited – owned and run by Mr Keiller and his business partner Derrick Thomson – is also funding the organisation, and both businessmen have committed to running the organisation free of charge.

Our Union Street has its headquarters in Union Terrace Gardens, from which it will soon co-ordinate a volunteer-led clean up of the street, alongside a strategic marketing effort to attract new businesses and projects to the street.

Efforts to clean the street will commence later this month, starting with the St Nicholas Kirkyard on October 28th, and members of the public are being urged to register via the Our Union Street website to take part.

Visit www.ourunionstreet.com to learn more.

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