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Golden Square given sparkling lights makeover for Christmas

Aberdeen’s historic Golden Square has been given a sparkling transformation this festive season thanks to special lighting and decorations provided by the team at Aberdeen Inspired.

The central railing of the square is now laced with 140 metres of warm, white festoon lighting to create an atmospheric, twinkling glow that adds a touch of magic.

And to make it even more special, the Victorian lampposts around the square have been dressed with attractive red velvet bows, to create an Instagram-able Christmas card image in the heart of the Granite City. 

However, this welcome addition to make Golden Square even more attractive didn’t happen overnight. 

What might appear to be a straightforward installation has been six months in the making by the Aberdeen Inspired team, due to strict restrictions for the preservation of the Victorian lampposts as well as challenging power access. A mini digger was needed to access and install power for the new lights, in agreement with Aberdeen City council officers. 

Roulè Wood, business engagement manager for Aberdeen Inspired, said the hard work was more than worth it.

“The end result has been to give Golden Square a real lift with this lovely soft lighting that creates a special, charming atmosphere, especially with the bright red bows on the historic lampposts.  All it needs to complete the picture is some snow!

“We hope the many visitors to Golden Square will enjoy this new look and the way it enhances this very important and popular part of the Granite City at this special time of year.”

Golden Square, located behind Aberdeen’s historic Music Hall, is a busy area for pedestrians throughout the day and particularly at night with so many popular independent hospitality businesses in and around the area. 

These include newer venues Olive Alexanders, the Bartenders Lounge, and beloved pubs Under the Hammer and The Globe nearby.

Dr Jeanette Forbes OBE, Chief Executive of Information Technology company PCL Group, based in Golden Square, said Aberdeen Inspired, the city’s Business Improvement District, has been very supportive in delivering improvements in this important and historic part of the city. 

She said: “Golden Square looks brilliant at night and the new lights have made such a difference, especially for the businesses here who are looking forward to Christmas and the New Year celebrations.  

“This initiative is having an ‘upbeat’ impact on the people going to His Majesty’s or the Music Hall who park in Golden Square, not to mention the people who are going on nights out and using Golden Square as a route to Union Street and other venues.”

Golden Square’s red bows will come down after Christmas, but the lighting will stay up over the winter months and then be retained as a seasonal attraction.

Other recent lighting interventions from Aberdeen Inspired include the 12 illuminated Suspended Signs marking different areas of the city centre, the Ceiling of Lights on Shiprow and Bon Accord Terrace, as well as at the archway leading from Correction Wynd to the Green.

This is in addition to the backlighting of the historic Langstane Stone and the now iconic Aberdeen Letters which are bringing an extra sparkle to Union Terrace Gardens at the moment. 

Roulè said: “The use of lighting like this helps to create a city centre that is attractive for visitors, while making them feel both welcome and safe, especially during the long winter nights.

“It is that warm and vibrant atmosphere that has helped Aberdeen win and retain the prestigious Purple Flag status for the safety and vibrancy of the city centre at night for 10 years in a row.”