We are a new community-led organisation with one mission; to bring businesses and people to the Granite Mile. To do that, we need your ideas...
Union Street is not what it used to be - it’s not what it should be, and it’s not what it can be!
People care about the state of Union Street; they care that many retail units sit empty and uninviting, they care about graffiti, litter, dirty buildings, weeds growing on balconies and the general upkeep of the street.
They want Union Street to be a safe, busy, energetic, thriving thoroughfare that compares favourably with the best of UK’s small cities. And they want somebody to take responsibility for addressing these challenges and improving the street; a consistent, concerted effort with plans, actions and progress.
We understand the frustrations people have about our city centre. And, to date, there has been no single body that has the remit to take on these challenges and opportunities. That’s what this brand new organisation is for.
We need to be realistic. We can’t turn back time and undo any historic actions and decisions - we can only start from now and make changes that improve the future.
So far, we think that our priorities should be focussed on filling the empty retail units and, in the meantime, make the empty units look less abandoned and unloved. We also think that the upkeep of the street - the buildings, the pavements, the street furniture could all be improved.
But what else should we be looking at? What are the small things and what are the bigger concepts? What are the crazy ideas that you have chatted to your friends about? What have you seen working well elsewhere? Tell us and be part of the solution.
We want to build a community which can deliver a thousand small steps for the city centre that, collectively, can make a big difference for Aberdeen City Centre.
We want to build a community that is passionate about Union Street.
We want to listen to everyone's ideas for the future of our city.
We want to mobilise a volunteer force that will make a difference.
Our Union Street has been founded 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. They will seek to raise capital and provide the governance for the organisation, which is in the early stages of being set-up. The partners wanted a unifying and collaborative figure to lead the effort, and approached Bob Keiller, who has agreed to provide his services for free.
At launch, 80% of the organisation's funding has been raised by the private sector, with the rest coming from Aberdeen City Council. However, the organisation is seeking further external funding to enable transformative change on Union Street.
First of all, we are going to listen. We are going to listen to the public, to businesses and to anyone who wants to see Union Street prosper again. Only then can we map out what is possible.
The most important thing you can do, initially, is contribute your ideas. No one group or organisation has a monopoly on ideas to help restore Union Street. If you have seen something amazing in another city, tell us. If you are fed up of seeing a certain part of the street in disrepair, tell us. Your ideas are crucial, and we want to hear them all.
Once we have gathered ideas and opportunities to make a difference, we are going to need an army of volunteers. We are appealing for individuals and companies to get in touch to support this effort.
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