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Unlikely Partnerships At The Dinner Table

Unlikely Partnerships At The Dinner Table

I hate taking down Christmas decorations.  It’s funny how a house can seem so drab once the tree and the tinsel have been removed.  Without fairy lights, everything seems to lose its twinkle.  That feeling is magnified in city centres as the high street festive lights are switched off and shop windows offer only bargain rails.  Whilst I may only be planning new wallpaper to revitalise my lounge, my home city, Aberdeen, must have bigger and better plans.  The recent commendable initiative to remove V-boards from Union Street is a good start to the improvements that are needed.

2013 was not the best year for the city centre.  Perhaps we were too focused on the “what”, be that Union Terrace Gardens or, more recently, the proposed redevelopment of the Art Gallery, and lost sight of the “why”.  Like any New Year’s resolution, reminding ourselves of the importance of regenerating the city centre and the wider area will remain the key to delivering change.

And the “how”? Politicians, businessmen, local residents: the common goal of a better living and working environment and a thriving city centre should drive everyone forward.  It is a shared belief in better that will bring together what may, at the outset, seem to be unlikely partnerships, at the table.  And, from there, will emerge new and exciting ideas and, hopefully, a happy and prosperous New Year for all.

Alex Salmond, in this second Homecoming year, has challenged Scotland to take responsibility for shaping its own future.  Aberdeen can’t wait until September...so we are looking forward to our discussion evening “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, Aberdeen City Centre Regeneration – Rhetoric or Reality?” on Wednesday 22 January 2014 at The Tivoli Theatre.  The discussion will explore who should have a seat at the table to breathe new life into Aberdeen city centre.

Elaine Farquharson-Black