We’re incredibly fortunate in Aberdeen to have organisations with big ambitions for the city, aspirations that every resident and every business can share.
From public bodies to the corporate world and through to sports clubs and the third sector, there’s a real determination to make a difference and realise the vision of a place where all people can prosper.
As a Council we’ve got a duty to drive that progress – both socially and economically – but we make no secret of the fact we can’t act alone. Partnership working is crucial and ties back to the guiding principle of one team, one council, one city.
The teamwork within the council every hour of every day is what we’re building our future on, but in recent weeks the bigger picture has been really well demonstrated.
May was a busy but important month, particularly for Richard Sweetnam and his City Growth team. We had the colour and noise of the OVO Energy Tour Series, bringing around 10,000 people into the city centre and showcasing the heart of Aberdeen to a global television audience. It was the third anniversary of our relationship with organisers Sweetspot and we hope that link will continue to evolve and thrive.
Just a week later the attention shifted to two of the most significant capital projects in the cultural story of the city – the Aberdeen Art Gallery refurbishment and the new events complex.
On a single day we saw BP announce a £1million investment in the Gallery and the Press and Journal confirm the naming rights to P&J Live after agreeing a significant sponsorship package. As an events and conference facility, it will be the envy of cities throughout Britain and the World.
To have BP and the P&J, two brands which have been cornerstones of north-east life and the region’s economy for generations, buying in to these landmark projects is a fantastic endorsement for the shift we’re overseeing in the cultural landscape of Aberdeen. Most importantly, it’s a great credit to these two companies that they’ve underlined their commitment to the city in this way.
Aberdeen Football Club is another important institution and we’re proud to work closely with the club and particularly the AFC Community Trust in a number of ways.
The success of the Food and Fun initiative has been well documented and the contribution the Dons have made to that has been a major part of the drive to tackling inequalities by providing free meals and activities in our regeneration areas during holiday periods.
The AFC Community Trust’s projects were in the spotlight last month at the SPFL Trust’s annual awards. I was pleased to attend and to present alongside the trust on the benefits of working hand in hand to deliver better outcomes in our communities. To cap a great day, it was fantastic to see the Alternative Academies project win the community programme the year prize for AFC. As ever the football rivalries were in full flow … with the trust pipping Rangers and Celtic to the trophy!
It’s heartening to see different partnerships flourishing on so many different levels – but all brought together by the common theme of helping the people and place prosper.
I’m really keen to acknowledge the contributions of our many partners, old and new, and to thank them for playing their part in the massive change we’re seeing all across the city. Here’s to many more collaborations and to a bright future for Aberdeen.