We have launched our second whitepaper which sets out our initial thoughts on how together, as a community, we can regenerate, repopulate and reinvigorate our Granite Mile.
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.
When we took on the task of reversing the fortunes of Union Street, there was only one place we could start, and that was with the citizens who call this city home.
Since we launched in March, your response has been overwhelming, with over 10,000 ideas submitted to our team.
Those 10,000 ideas became 17 themes – and now those themes have become five action areas that we will spend the next few years delivering against.
This whitepaper – our second – sets out our initial thoughts on how together, as a community, we can regenerate, repopulate and reinvigorate our Granite Mile.
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 wanted to listen. We listened to the public, to businesses and to anyone who wanted to see Union Street prosper again. After an overwhelming pubic response, and around 10,000 ideas, we drew out key 17 themes to investigate further as we now draw up our action plan.
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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