Lord Provost calls on city leaders to back initiative aimed at restoring pride in granite city

Press and Journal – 08/09/2011

A campaign to boost the reputation of Aberdeen at home and abroad was officially launched at a packed Offshore Europe yesterday.

Lord Provost Peter Stephen called on city leaders to back the Aberdeen 1st movement, aimed at restoring pride in the charms of the North-East.

An A-list of influential Aberdonians has already been recruited to bring about a change in attitude, and encourage people to stop running down the Granite City.

Aberdeen 1st will bring together business figures, athletes, public servants and charity workers to inspire people to think differently about their home town.

Launching the initiative, Lord Provost Peter Stephen said: “City leaders are joining together to lift Aberdeen’s reputation around the world and remove some of the recent negativity which was becoming a large problem,

“We are calling for anyone who supports a change in attitude and the need to put back more pride in the city to get involved. Together we can make a difference.”

Mr Stephen is chairing the movement’s core group, which also includes deputy Lord Lieutenant Dennis Davidson as deputy chairman and Alan Reid, Communications Director for city social care charity VSA.

The other members of the 10-strong panel are Aberdeen City Council Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Director Gordon McInstosh; Aberdeen Sports Village Chairman George Yule; Council Chief Executive Valerie Watts; Grampian Chief Constable Colin McKerracher and one of his predecessors George Esson; PCL Group CEO Jeanette Forbes and Fred Dalgarno, Dean of the Guild of Burgesses.

Ms Forbes said “We need to learn to speak up for Aberdeen instead of talking it down. It’s a fabulous place to live with lots of excellent points.

“We have world-renowned universities, great theatres, parks, sports facilities and stunning scenery. I want to make a difference, not only for me and my family but generations to follow.

“Let’s together put the foundations in place and see the new Granite City unfold.”

The movement, which is non-political and not led by any one organisation, is funded by contributions from the private sector.

The core group will liaise with a series of sub-groups, considering particular areas such as education, energy, sports, heritage, tourism and transport, and making sure everyone is aware of any good news coming out of the city.