A SCHEME to try to create a “cafe culture” in Aberdeen city centre is to start next month – with three streets to close to traffic seven days a week.
Belmont Street, Little Belmont Street and Gaelic Lane are to be closed to nearly all traffic from 11am to 6pm, seven days a week, so tables can be put outside eateries to encourage people to sit outdoors in the area.
Art, music and street performers will also be encouraged to use the space.
Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council deputy leader, said: “The cafe culture in the Belmont Street area will create a really nice family-friendly atmosphere and will add to what is already popular part of the city.”
The idea to introduce a “cafe culture” was put forward by Aberdeen Inspired after it learned about the desire of business owners to create such a space
Aberdeen Inspired chief executive, Gary Craig, said: “Aberdeen’s city centre has such a strong offering in terms of the diverse range of cafes available in the area and, through speaking to the business community, we’ve identified a requirement by many to introduce outside seating at their premises.
“The lack of cafe culture within the city is often raised by both the hospitality trade and city centre visitors.”
Business owners on all three streets have welcomed the move.
Jamie Hutcheon, director of Cocoa Ooze, said: “It seems like we’ve really been missing out on an opportunity to develop the cafe culture in the city centre, so I strongly welcome this pilot, which should attract additional numbers of people to what is the cultural heart of the city centre.”
Angela Kozak, of Cup Tea Salon on Little Belmont Street, said: “Where Aberdeen leads the way in the oil and gas industry perspective, it has so far lagged behind in cosmopolitan al fresco dining experience.”
The three month trial will start on Monday, August 3, but could become permanent if it is a success.
No alcohol will be allowed in outside seating areas.