Our union street logo

We want to re-energise Union Street

Union Street is not what it used to be - it’s not what it should be, and it’s not what it can be!

People care about the state of Union Street; they care that many retail units sit empty and uninviting, they care about graffiti, litter, dirty buildings, weeds growing on balconies and the general upkeep of the street.

They want Union Street to be a safe, busy, energetic, thriving thoroughfare that compares favourably with the best of the UK’s small cities. And they want somebody to take responsibility for addressing these challenges and improving the street; a consistent, concerted effort with plans, actions and progress. That's where Our Union Street comes in...

20230607 Our Union Street 081 min

Step one: Public engagement

Our Union Street was formed in March 2023 following an emergency summit called to arrest the decline facing the Granite Mile.

Former FTSE100 chief executive Bob Keiller agreed to lead the organisation for free, and the community movement to regenerate the street commenced.

When we took on the task of reversing the fortunes of Union Street, there was only one place we could start, and that was with the citizens who call this city home.

The public response was overwhelming, with over 10,000 ideas submitted to our team. This campaign is driven by the community, for the community and every idea was reviewed, considered and logged.

13 min

Step two: The key action areas

Those 10,000 ideas became 17 themes which we detailed in a whitepaper in the summer of 2023.

We held a meeting in the Music Hall on June 7th to share the themes. The meeting was a great opportunity to answer questions from attendees.

Around 400 people came to the meeting and there was no shortage of questions. At the meeting, we asked attendees to consider volunteering as theme leaders or theme members.

Around 80 people offered to lead specific topics and a further 130 were willing to help. They have since formed the core of our volunteer force.

Step three: The action plan

Our Union Street is now focussing its attention on making strategic interventions across five key action areas.

Hand 1 ONE

Brighten the street

This is about getting the street into a far cleaner state then bringing extra colour and interest to it so that people want to visit.

I want to help
Hand 2 TWO

Fill the units

Create and market a compelling offer then attract great businesses to occupy them and bring them back to life.

I want to help
Hand 3 THREE

Use the space

Use the empty shop windows as a fascinating and often changing street gallery that brightens up empty retail units.

I want to help
Hand 1 ONE copy

Tell the story

Creating a single reliable source of information about what’s happening in the city centre and creating lots of attractions and events.

I want to help
Hand 2 TWO copy

Engage the people

Engaging, recruiting and deploying the Street Union volunteers we need to deliver on the four action detailed above.

I want to help
Street Union March
The Street Union... our volunteer army!

Frequently asked questions...

Our Union Street has been founded by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen City Council and Opportunity North East, Shell and AB15 Ltd.

The partners wanted a unifying and collaborative figure to lead the effort, and approached Bob Keiller, who has agreed to provide his services for free.

At launch, 80% of the organisation's funding has been raised by the private sector, with the rest coming from Aberdeen City Council. However, the organisation is seeking further external funding to enable transformative change on Union Street. The Scottish Government has since pledged £400,000 to help to organisation, with that funding coming in the 2024/25 and 2025/26 financial years.

Volunteer! We need an army of volunteers to help tidy up units, clear up public areas and to get the street looking as good as it can. We need story-tellers, trades people, historians, project mangers, as well as folk who are simply happy to get their hands dirty!

Receive our weekly updates

Sign-up to receive weekly updates from the Our Union Street team.

You can unsubscribe anytime. For more details, review our Privacy Policy.