Celebratory community weekend unveiled

Plans for how the North East will celebrate the opening of the most eagerly anticipated Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project have been announced today by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown.

The focal point of the campaign will be a Community Weekend of family-orientated events and activities (8th and 9th of September 2018) which is planned to take place on the new AWPR in the River Dee valley on the boundary between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. It will be a ‘fete style’ event with attractions including a celebration of travel through the ages with vintage vehicles and future electric vehicle technology. There will also be unique opportunities for cyclists of a wide range of abilities to experience the road before strategic traffic begins using it in earnest and cyclists get to enjoy the benefits of less congested city roads.

This will be supported by the 'GoNorthEast' campaign which will underline the benefits of this transformational project and show how these will positively impact on people’s lives and the future of businesses, small and large across the North East.

More details on the event will be made available via media and social media in due course.
Cabinet Secretary, Keith Brown said: “The AWPR/B-T is a major artery that will breathe new life into the region. It is much more than a bypass, a term that simply doesn’t do justice to a scheme of this vast scale. It will enhance connectivity with the rest of Scotland, better connect local communities, improve productivity, quality of life and allow for better public transport and active travel opportunities in the city.

The AWPR/B-T will transform how people travel around the region, whether a driver, a user of public transport, a cyclist or a pedestrian. The GoNorthEast aims to communicate information on the route in the run-up to its opening and beyond.
Supported by the hashtags #GoConnect, #GoSafer, #GoGreener, the GoNorthEast campaign will highlight the key positive impacts of the route on the economy, on safety and on sustainable travel. Ambassadors for these key themes joined the Cabinet Secretary and Council Leaders today.

Russell Borthwick, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, which has long-championed the route for the benefits it will bring to the economy, said:

“A fully operational AWPR will be a huge boost to our area. Forecasts suggest the economic benefit it will bring to the regional economy is in excess of £6bn over the next three decades as well as providing a platform for the creation of 14,000 new jobs. In addition to improving the quality of life for our residents - a major factor in economic development - faster journey times and improved North to South connectivity will increase business productivity and help us to secure the next tranche of investment we need to deliver our renaissance region vision. It is also a sign of positive change here with a number of other major marquee infrastructure and regeneration projects due for completion in the next two years.”

Emma Bellu, Chief Executive of local safety charity Absafe, praised the project's aim to reduce road accidents by around 80 per year saying: "Communities in the North East have long-awaited improvements to the local road network that can reduce the injury toll on our roads. Using the latest in safe road design, the AWPR/B-T will improve safety and reduce accidents by taking traffic away from unsuitable rural roads and urban areas. This will make journeys safer and less stressful for drivers, and give streets back to their communities. This project can quite literally save lives, reduce injuries and improve wellbeing, and we welcome the celebration in the run up to the official opening."

Derick Murray, Director of Nestrans, the region’s transport partnership, believes that the AWPR is a major contributor towards a more sustainable transport strategy for the North-east. He said: “Nestrans has been a long-term promoter of the AWPR, particularly the role it will play in freeing up Anderson Drive and the city centre to enable smoother, faster and more reliable bus services and access to Park and Choose sites. From an environmental standpoint, nose to tail traffic creates much more pollution, whereas free-flowing traffic generates lower carbon emissions, improving our air quality in and around the city.”

Cabot donationCabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT), a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, has recently donated vital funds to build a new water safety set with safety education charity Absafe at their headquarters in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. Cabot’s Speciality Fluids business team in Aberdeen also held its internal Global Safety Day event at Absafe on April 5, 2018.

The donation will allow Absafe to build an exciting new workshop that will teach school children how to stay safe in and around water. The recent launch of the Scottish drowning prevention strategy highlights the huge local challenges with regard to water safety, with an average drowning rate double that of the rest of the United Kingdom.

Kirsty Robertson, SH&E Manager for Cabot’s Speciality Fluids segment said, “Safety is fundamental to who we are as a company, and through our relationship with Absafe we can broaden safety education to the local community. Our teams have thoroughly enjoyed the events that we have conducted with Absafe, as they have made safety education fun, engaging and interactive.”

Absafe’s chief executive Emma Bellu said, “By funding our water safety set, Cabot will play a vital part in reducing drownings in the North East and support the next generation to be safe in everyday life. We’re delighted that our partnership continues to grow from strength to strength, demonstrating the real value a great corporate social responsibility (CSR) relationship can have for both organisations.”

Dan Price Davies, Chair of the Aberdeen Water Safety Group said, “This is very welcome news, ensuring workshops for all local primary schools, and closely supporting our integrated approach with multiple agencies tackling water safety issues in Aberdeen.”

Over the last two years, Cabot and Absafe’s CSR relationship has flourished. Following the success of their crime scene investigation (CSI) team building events last year, Absafe has challenged Cabot teams in Aberdeen and Bergen, Norway to create and present a school based CSI event to teach school children about road safety.

CSR relationships are of huge importance to both companies and over the years Absafe has welcomed many Cabot employees volunteering at their safety workshops which allows staff members to build new skills, and ensure their safety knowledge is passed to the next generation.

Leading safety education charity Absafe has won £3000 thanks to a team of students at St Margaret School for Girls coming first place in the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative competition. The prize, kindly donated by the Wood Foundation, was won by Adrianna, Aya, Una, Francesca, Eabha and Neha, a team of third year students at the Aberdeen based school.

Dedicated to safety education, the award winning charity Absafe beat off tough competition, all thanks to the outstanding presentation the girls delivered to a panel of judges. The drama based presentation featured Absafe mascot ‘Harold the Heart’ to take home the top prize.

Linda Williamson, Absafe volunteer who supported the team on Absafe’s behalf said “The competition was tough but there was no doubting the girls' commitment and enthusiasm for their task. We can't thank them enough for promoting Absafe so well and raising such a significant sum on our behalf.”

Absafe’s Chief Executive Emma Bellu said: “Peer influence is such a positive way to encourage the next generation to learn about safety. We’re delighted that the girls chose to support Absafe and did such a wonderful job highlighting the important work we do as well raising vital funds to support our ongoing services.”

Absafe is dedicated to providing the region with fun and engaging safety lessons and inspiring future generations. This money will allow Absafe to be able to develop their safety lessons and facilities even further.

Member of the winning team from St Margaret School for Girls, Una said “Absafe impacts the local community because it educates children on how to keep safe which I believe is extremely important. Although they cannot count how many lives they have saved, by speaking to the children I can tell how important this charity is and how much it affects them.”

NS winners2Safety education charity Absafe has scooped the Outstanding Contribution to Society Award at this year’s Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s Northern Star Business Awards.

As the only charity in the north-east of Scotland dedicated to safety education and risk awareness, Absafe beat off stiff competition from Aberdeen Sports Village, HorseBack UK and the Bon Accord Centre to take home the coveted award.

Absafe’s marketing and corporate relations manager Laura McIntyre said: “Being nominated for an award of this calibre is a huge achievement for us, but to win is brilliant.

“Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for its continued support, to the Absafe team and our dedicated volunteers, who blow us away with their commitment to our cause.

“We’re dedicated to providing the region with fun and engaging safety lessons that teach essential knowledge - this award is testament to our hard work and we look forward to an exciting chapter ahead.”