New city centre manager role for Aberdeen Inspired

Geoff Cooper

Business organisation Aberdeen Inspired has appointed a new city centre manager as it further strengthens its links with businesses within the area.

The newly created role, which is being supported by Aberdeen City Council, will see Geoff Cooper start with the organisation later this month.

With more than 25 years in the food manufacturing industry, Mr Cooper was most recently franchise owner for a number of McDonald’s restaurants across the north-east including its outlet on Aberdeen’s Union Street.

This new role will involve working closely with Aberdeen City Council on the management of agreed city centre projects and events including the implementation of Operation Union Street Rejuvenation. Due to commence later this year, over £1million will be spent improving to the city’s main thoroughfare as part of Aberdeen City Council’s City Centre Masterplan.

Mr Cooper will also form another valuable link between Aberdeen Inspired and its 700 levy payers, liaising with businesses to ensure their day-to-day requirements from the organisation are being met. He will also have a key role to play in the management and co-ordination of ‘on street’ activities within the city centre.

Geoff Cooper said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to link-up with both Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council at a time when major investment is planned for Union Street amongst other key projects that are part of the City Centre Masterplan. Union Street can still be the jewel in Aberdeen’s crown but it’s our goal to restore a sense of pride back into the thoroughfare.

“As a former levy payer operating within the city centre, I’m also looking forward to forming a further link between Aberdeen Inspired and the many businesses that operate within the BID zone. The thoughts, views and opinions of the organisation’s levy payers are essential to Aberdeen Inspired’s continued success moving forward and we’ll continue to lead projects and initiatives that are shaped to bring benefits to these businesses.

“This is an exciting new role that has the ability to shape the further development of Aberdeen’s city centre and I can’t wait to play a part in future successes for the area.”

Deputy City Council leader Councillor Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Board, said: “The Council is committed to creating a city centre everyone can be proud of – which is why we are funding the post of city centre manager. The implementation of the City Centre Masterplan is now under way and through working with partners like Aberdeen Inspired we can deliver truly transformational change.

“The city centre manager will have a key role to play in maximising the opportunities created through the CCMP and projects like the creation of new public realm space on Broad Street. We welcome the appointment of Geoff, who brings a wealth of experience and insight to the post.”

Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “I’d like to welcome Geoff to this new role of city centre manager and we look forward to working closely with him in the coming weeks at what is a crucial time for the area. Aberdeen Inspired would like to see a sense of pride restored into Union Street again and we will work closely with all partners involved to ensure this is the outcome. The role also allows greater integration and improved communication and will ensure Council services are completed to the correct standard.

“Having been a levy payer previously, Geoff is perfectly placed to act as a link between the organisation and the BID zone and he will very much be the ‘eyes and ears’ for businesses within the city centre.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district and drive footfall to the zone.

The City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) was unanimously approved by the City Council in June 2015. It aims to regenerate the city centre over the next 25 years through 49 catalytic economic, infrastructure, environmental and community projects. The vision has cross-party political support and the backing of the business community having been shaped through public consultation.