Looking to 2022 with renewed hope  

Hundreds of new council homes.  

The refresh of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan.   

A Royal opening for Aberdeen Art Gallery.   

Energy giant bp set to become the commercial partner for our hydrogen hub.   

A dynamic visitor attraction based in the renovated Provost Skene’s House. 

These are just some of the highlights from 2021.  

Though Covid-19 continues to dominate daily life, the year marked significant steps towards recovery and renewal. We are transforming the city and giving us all a future to believes in.   

At the budget in March, we allocated £150 million in the medium term to revitalise the city centre and the Beach, and to better connect the two. In consultation with stakeholders, we developed the plans – and received £20m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund to help make them a reality.  

Partnership working – between local and national government, between public, private and third sectors – has long been championed by this council.  

The £418,000 Summer of Play programme was a wonderful example, offering free activities for children as we emerged from lockdown. More than 15,000 bookings were taken across the council, WeToo, Sport Aberdeen, NESCol, CityMoves, TechFest, Aberdeen Science Centre and Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust.   

Giving youngsters the best possible start in life is another hallmark of our approach to doing business, and during 2021 we continued to invest in education.   

The new school at Milltimber is nearing completion whilst work has started on new primary schools at Countesswells and Riverbank, with Torry following in the New Year. In 2021 we were also proud to roll out the £26m Early Learning and Childcare programme, delivering new and upgraded nursery facilities across the city.  

As a council we have always taken a long-term view of what is best for residents and the city, acting in the broad interest of communities.  

Our hydrogen hub promises not just jobs but a greener environment, and we were delighted to appoint bp as the preferred bidder to become our commercial partner. At COP26 Aberdeen was hailed as a leader in the drive towards net zero and because of our innovative approach and investment in hydrogen technology to date we were able to secure £15m of government funding for our hub.

We remain ambitious for Aberdeen – but also committed to looking after the place and its people.    

The Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) was modified in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A new stretch outcome ‘No one will suffer due to poverty by 2026’ was introduced to signal our determination to tackle poverty in all its forms.    

The refreshed LOIP is focused on helping people lead healthy, independent lives. But at a basic level our anti-poverty pledge means offering access to food, fuel, shelter, employment and finance.    

As Aberdonians we can be proud of what we have achieved in 2021, both in terms of driving the city forward and protecting the people and place.

A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.