Aberdeen Inspired named best in Europe at awards ceremony

Crowds stand in front of one of the Nuart Festival art works.
Crowds stand in front of one of the Nuart Festival art works.

Aberdeen Inspired has been named the best Business Improvement District (BID) in Europe at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The organisation was crowned European BID 2017 by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry at an event in Berlin last night, in front of European business leaders and government officials from across the continent.

Aberdeen Inspired was one of eight finalists but its leading role in delivering the successful Nuart Aberdeen Festival in April played a significant part in the judges’ decision to declare the organisation as the winner of the 2017 award.

The success of other Aberdeen Inspired projects such as the first Aberdeen Comedy Festival, Summer of Art, and the Aberdeen Christmas Village also helped the organisation to stand out against other finalists, including Amsterdam and Hamburg.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, was in Berlin to represent the organisation at the European BID awards.

He said:”Being shortlisted as a finalist was a great recognition of our work for Aberdeen but winning outright is a fantastic achievement which we hope will serve as an inspiration to the city, the wider North-east, and across the country.

“To make it to the final we were up against organisations from across the continent, ranging from Albania to the Nordic countries, so the field for the award was wide-ranging and very competitive.

“All our efforts with projects like Nuart Aberdeen and the comedy festival are focused on improving the city centre to drive footfall there and boost traders in the area.

“During the Nuart Aberdeen Festival 87% of visitors to Aberdeen stated it was completely or very likely that they would return to the city for the festival if it was repeated next year, and we are delighted to be in discussions to secure the festival for the coming years.

“To be recognised as best in Europe for our innovation and success is very satisfying and we are determined to achieve much more.”

Each year the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry recognises successful initiatives which increase the attractiveness of and strengthen and revitalise city centres, residential districts and commercial areas.

The European BID award success follows UK recognition for the group which achieved notable success at the UK and Ireland Association of Town and City Management’s (ATCM) annual awards in June for innovation and best BID.

Mr Watson added: “Despite the challenging operating environment in our city and wider North-east they have all rallied to the cause and shown the rest of the country some excellent practices to boost economic and cultural activity that lead the way.

“We should all take a great deal of confidence from this success and it brings the right kind of recognition that our great city deserves.

“However, we all understand that we cannot stand still and there is still much to do as the city continues its transition, but be sure Aberdeen Inspired will continue to play its part.”