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New ‘Street Union’ to help deliver community revamp of Union Street

Our Union Street Bob Christie Concept
Bob Christie, Managing Director of Concept Promotional Merchandise

The new organisation aiming to rejuvenate Aberdeen’s Union Street is looking to recruit an army of volunteers to help improve the city centre.

More than 10,000 ideas have been put forward by the public following the launch of Our Union Street in March.

Between 15 and 20 themes have emerged, which will be published and shared with the public ahead of a meeting in the Music Hall next month.

That meeting will offer people the opportunity to put themselves forward to lead or take part in projects which emerge from each of the themes.

The volunteer force will be named ‘The Street Union’ and so far more than 1,100 people have registered an interest in taking part.

Bob Keiller, who is leading the Our Union Street effort, said the group is ready to “roll up its sleeves”, and has appealed to anyone who wants to play a part to join the movement.

“The first phase of our activity was very much about listening – and we will continue to listen,” he said.

“However, it is important that we now start to move forward and act upon what has been an enormous public response.

“As we progress, we want to build a community that is passionate about Union Street, and to mobilise a volunteer force that will really make a difference.

“The forthcoming meeting at the Music Hall on June 7 is open to anyone who has volunteered via our website ourunionstreet.com and there is still time to do so if you want to be involved.”

The not-for-profit group will take a pro-active approach to filling the 47 empty shops on Union Street and will shortly be launching a nationwide hunt for new businesses.

However, many of the objectives and interventions taken on by the organisation will be drawn from the ideas submitted by the public.

Mr Keiller added: “We want people of all ages and backgrounds to be part of the next chapter for this street, when we can hopefully bring some sparkle back to the Granite Mile.

“Not all of this will be about physical work. In many cases, research is going to be required, as well as administrative work, so this is an open opportunity to all.”

A number of companies have also come forward to volunteer support, including Aberdeen Journals, which has donated advertising inventory, and Concept Promotional Merchandise, which has provided branded PPE.

Bob Christie, Managing Director, Concept Promotional Merchandise, said: “I am delighted to give my backing to The Street Union volunteer campaign with the provision of specially branded clothing for those willing to step up to help shape the future of our city.

“We have been on the go for 25 years and I have witnessed the many changes during the ups and downs of the oil and gas industry and the changing face of the city centre. I believe it’s vitally important to support investment in your home city and to embrace the potential of what Aberdeen has to offer.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside the volunteer force as they focus on making decisions and implementing the work needed to reinvent Aberdeen city centre to ensure all Aberdonians today and in the future can be proud of our city.”

To register as a volunteer and join the Music Hall meeting, visit ourunionstreet.com.

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