Aberdeen was the location for the first Scottish national conference exploring how to create safe and vibrant town and city centres and reduce alcohol harm.

The Conference, which was organised by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the Association of Town & City Management and the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group, aimed to showcase best practice and discuss how issues such as technology and terrorism are impacting high streets and town centres.

Chaired by the CEO of the Aberdeen Inspired, Adrian Watson, the conference featured talks from places across Scotland that have been combatting and reducing alcohol harm and making streets safer. Speakers from Orkney Community and Alcohol Partnership, National Pubwatch Scotland and Best Bar None in Glasgow gave their experiences. There was also discussion around safety in light of the threat of terrorism from the Scottish organised crime and counter terror unit.

The Conference, which had over 70 delegates from across Scotland, explored the themes of partnership working, balancing security of people with keeping the town centre attractive and managing public space effectively.

Lynsae Tulloch, Chief Operating Officer from the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, commented:

“Promoting safety and vibrancy within our Towns and Cities is one of the many ways we can all work in partnership to help build a safer Scotland for people to visit.

“This event provided a fantastic opportunity for partners and businesses to come together and discuss key vulnerabilities posed by terrorist incidents and acts of criminality and what they can do to prepare themselves, as well as enhancing their knowledge and highlighting the important role we all play in achieving a safe, strong and resilient country in which to live, work and do business.”

Rita King, Local Partnerships Director at the Portman Group, added:

“The message that came out loudly and clearly from the event was that partnership working between stakeholders such as local authorities, businesses and the police is vital to achieving safer town centres with a greater sense of place.”

Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management, said:

“Town and city centres across Scotland and the wider UK face a number of pressures. People have so many ways to spend the leisure time today. For our town centres to remain relevant, first they have to be safe. That link between safety and vibrancy is an important one. Achieving that safety through good partnership is critical. I glad that this event allowed us to have that conversation with key partners with similar aims.”