Bosses from two of Aberdeen’s leading cultural venues have voiced their support for Aberdeen Inspired in its campaign to continue representing city businesses.
Jane Spiers, the chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, and Colin Farquhar, head of cinema operations at the Belmont Filmhouse, urged their counterparts around the city to back the organisation in the upcoming ballot.
As with other Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) around Scotland, Aberdeen Inspired must ballot the businesses within its jurisdiction every five years.
If the June 24 ballot is successful, it will be able to continue working on behalf of local shops, bars, restaurants, property owners, landlords, shopping centres and all other city centre businesses until at least 2026.
Ms Spiers and her team, who run venues including His Majesty’s Theatre, the Lemon Tree and Aberdeen Music Hall, have worked closely with Aberdeen Inspired on festivals such as Nuart.
She said: “Aberdeen Performing Arts is delighted to be part of our active and successful city centre BID.
“Aberdeen Inspired performs a critical co-ordinating role for the city’s many and varied business interests, facilitating joint working and championing city centre regeneration.
“We are grateful to Aberdeen Inspired for all the support, advice and encouragement that helps us grow our business.
“This includes Granite Noir, our spring crime-writing festival, and True North, our autumn music festival.”
She added: “Aberdeen Inspired are great ambassadors for the city. We look forward to continuing to work together to bring life, creativity, colour and investment to our city region and urge other levy payers to vote in favour of the BID.”
The extension of the BID would mean businesses would continue to pay a levy to the organisation, which equates to around £5 per week.
Aberdeen Inspired has said that, thanks to an additional £2 million of funding brought in by the BID, at least £2 is invested in the city centre for every £1 of levy collected.
Mr Farquhar, who runs the Belmont Street cinema, said: “We’re very happy to support Aberdeen Inspired’s effort to continued leading Aberdeen’s city centre strategies as we come out of what has been a very challenging year for the city.
“We can’t think of anyone more suited to leading a vibrant campaign as the regeneration efforts get underway.
“The city centre is a diverse community of businesses, but we’ve always been impressed by Aberdeen Inspired’s openness to working with the cultural and night-time sectors, who have been so important to Aberdeen in the past but will be even more important in the future as we aim to take people back into the city.”