Aberdeen Inspired's Chief Executive, Adrian Watson, to lead ATCM Scotland

15 Dec 2017

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A leading official from a prominent north-east business organisation has been appointed to a national role to help the promotion of town and city centres across the country.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, has taken up the voluntary role of National Chair for Scotland of ATCM.

The appointment will see Mr Watson oversee work to promote town and city centres across Scotland as the association works to increase footfall numbers and customer spending.

Mr Watson, who was appointed chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired in 2016, is looking forward to supporting the ATCM with immediate effect.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to take up the National Chair for Scotland of the Association of Town and City Management, the largest organisation of its kind in the country. 

“As a current member with Aberdeen Inspired, I see first-hand the vital work it carries out to safeguard, develop and future-proof our town and city centres, the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. 

“This is clearly a progressively minded organisation, which is at the fore of cutting-edge thinking and delivery and is a strong lobbying voice with government and other policy makers.

“The ATCM has championed the national Purple Flag accreditation scheme, which Aberdeen City Centre is proud to have been the first in Scotland to hold and is considered an exemplar to others. 

"As the National Chair for Scotland, I will be able to further promote the interests of Aberdeen City Centre and of course the wider region, which I feel passionately about. 

“The voluntary role will also allow me to more easily tap into good practice and the latest thinking nationally and I will naturally look to bring back ‘what works’ to our great city.” 

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen Business Improvement District (BID) 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. Due to its on-going success, the organisation won 2017 European BID of the Year in July. 

More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at: www.aberdeeninspired.com.

Adrian spent 30 years in the police service, the last seven as Commander for Aberdeen City. He had a varied career in the service, which included lengthy spells in criminal investigation and Intelligence. He was also seconded to government and other agencies, both nationally and abroad. He retired in June 2016.
Throughout his policing career, he was a strong advocate of partnership working and was a key driver in bringing the Purple Flag to Aberdeen, a first in Scottish terms.   
He currently sits as a member on the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) Council.
He was the Vice-Chair of Community Planning Aberdeen and is a former Trustee of Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust.  He was admitted as a Burgess of Guild for Aberdeen City in 2010.
In July 2016, Adrian was appointed CEO at Aberdeen Inspired, the City Centre’s Business Improvement District (BID).  The BID has over 800 levy payers and accrues in the region of 850k in levy, which is effectively doubled through sponsorship of events and voluntary levy contributions.
In this role, he has led on significant events in the City, including the globally acclaimed Nuart Street Art Festival in partnership with Nuart (Stavanger), from the twin City in Norway. He is also a key strategic partner in driving Aberdeen City Centre’s Masterplan forward.
It has been a very satisfying time for him and he is immensely proud of the achievements of his team and the many partners in Aberdeen, which led to Aberdeen Inspired recently winning several national awards and the coveted European BID of the year in Berlin in July 2017.
Adrian holds a BSc (Hons), MSc and an MBA from Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University.