Charities which have benefited from Aberdeen Inspired’s work in the city centre have backed a campaign to encourage others to retain the organisation.
Friends of Anchor, Charlie House and Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) are among those who have been supported by the business improvement district (Bid) through initiatives such as the indoor Christmas Market.
Like all Bids in Scotland, Aberdeen Inspired must ballot businesses within its footprint every five years to determine if should continue its work to attract, sustain and boost the city centre.
With the June 24 vote looming, charities have been speaking out about the difference the organisations’s work has made to them.
This has included donations from activities held at the Christmas Village and last year’s popular festive market in the Bon Accord Centre.
The hugely successful Nuart festival – which kicked off last week – is also one of Aberdeen Inspired’s projects and gets people out the house, exploring their city while admiring public art.
“Hugely benefited from fundraising initiatives”
The Balmoral Group makes a voluntary contribution to the Bid as it is outwith its footprint.
Chairman and managing director Jim Milne, who founded cancer charity Friends of Anchor, said: “As a long-established business in Aberdeen we want to see the city continue to thrive and flourish and we fully support the work Aberdeen Inspired does to help improve the city centre. We choose to make a voluntary contribution despite being located a few miles away.
“Aberdeen Inspired also provides valuable support to charities including Friends of Anchor, which has hugely benefited from fundraising initiatives such as a silent disco at the Christmas Village. We wholeheartedly encourage businesses who are eligible to vote to Back the Bid.”
Susan Crighton, fundraising director at Charlie House, said the support from the Christmas market last year had come at a crucial time given so many other fundraising activities were put on hold due to Covid.
She said: “It’s no secret that the pandemic has adversely affected charities across the country.
“At a time when fundraising for charity has been extremely difficult, Aberdeen Inspired’s support has made a big different to Charlie House.
“We’re delighted to have an additional income stream which will deliver much needed funds to support babies, children and young people with complex needs and life limiting conditions and their families.
“Aberdeen Inspired plays a vital role in promoting Aberdeen city centre and we’re grateful for their continuing support.”
Graeme Kinghorn, chief executive of MHA, also expressed his support of Back the Bid.
He said: “Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) has been supporting local people, organisations and businesses for 70 years so we are delighted to Back the BID, which will undoubtedly play a part in improving the wellbeing of everyone who is a stakeholder in the future of the city.”
Bosses from two of Aberdeen’s leading cultural venues, Belmont Filmhouse and Aberdeen Performing Arts, have previously thrown their support behind the campaign, praising the “critical coordinating role” Aberdeen Inspired takes on for the varied groups across the city.