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ALL available Union Street empty units listed in bid to lure new Aberdeen businesses

The new initiative is the latest ploy from campaigners determined to revive the Granite Mile.

Renewed action is being taken on Union Street empty units.
‘Give us small independent shops’ to bring Union Street back to life, say readers. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

The nationwide search for businesses to fill up empty shops on Aberdeen’s Union Street has been given a flashy new centrepiece.

A major marketing push, aimed at making the city centre more attractive to traders from all over the UK, has been ongoing for the last year.

And Our Union Street is now showing off all vacant units on Aberdeen’s main shopping street with the launch of a new website, which it claims is a “first for a UK high street”.

A shop window for the bare shop windows lining the Granite Mile, it brings together vital information on the unoccupied premises in one place.

To Let signs are a common sight on Union Street, but campaigners want to make these empty units a thing of the past. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

How will new Union Street empty units website help in battle to save city centre?

Since the high street organisation was founded in March 2023, the number of empty Union Street shops has fallen from a high of 52.

Our Union Street’s listings show 22 now up for grabs.

The website, brought to life by creative agency Hampton, also shows the upfront rent and rates payable on the properties as monthly costs, as well as whether occupants would be eligible for grants to help with their takeover.

(L-R): Bob Keiller (Our Union Street), Cody Mowbray (AGCC), Ewan Lyle (Hampton), Suzanne Irvine (Hampton) and Ryan Crighton (AGCC). Image: Our Union Street

And, as The P&J previously reported, artificial intelligence is being deployed to show how units could be used.

It comes after a new wave of businesses taking to Union Street, with Aberdeen City Council’s offer of up to £35,000 for refitting premises.

New occupiers of long-term empty shops could be given up to two years free rent and business rates.

AI image showing a potential design for the empty unit on 172 Union Street, Aberdeen.
This is how the vacant outlet on 172 Union Street could look like – if someone decides to invest in it. Image: Our Union Street/Supplied.

What are the units being touted by Our Union Street?

Group chairman Bob Keiller hopes the site will be a beacon for “businesses and entrepreneurs from across the UK”

He said: “It is an incredibly fertile environment for investors.”

Union Street has been hard-hit for years. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

The available units include:

An old Greggs at 446-450 is highlighted as a “good breakfast spot” that could be perfect for a food and drink firm.

The former Halifax Bank at 52-54, which has four floors and is in “very good condition”.

The Halifax has been closed since this image was taken earlier this year. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

An old William Hill at 475 Union Street is marketed as having a “superb frontage”.

The old newsagent at 207a is touted as having 12-months rates free.

The website lists various perks attached to Union Street empty units. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The recently closed Fit and Skin unit is also featured at number 440.

And the former home of The Works, nearby at 414 Union Street, is offered up to interested parties as already having consent in place to become a new cafe or restaurant.

Our Union Street says the empty unit is in a prime spot across from “premium office blocks”.

The former home of The Works. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Latest move a ‘vital step’ to achieving Union Street goals

The marketing campaign is being led by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC), one of six founding partners which is funding the Our Union Street group.

Could this new form of internet shopping help to save the high street? Image: Our Union Street

What would you like to see take over some of the empty units? Let us know in our comments section below

Ryan Crighton, policy and marketing director at AGCC, said: “For a limited time, incoming businesses can take advantage of fit-out grants and potentially two years rent and rates free. It is an incredible opportunity.

“We envision a Union Street that is a hub for shoppers and tourists, and also a dynamic space where businesses can flourish and contribute to a vibrant economy.

“This website and campaign will be a vital step towards achieving that.”

You can look at all of the available Union Street empty units here. 

Read more:

Coffee firm reveals £1m takeover of empty Union Street bank

Aberdeen city centre: Track the empty and occupied units