Youngsters star in film promoting the city centre

A film made by school pupils aimed at encouraging youngsters to have their say on the City Centre Masterplan has been launched.

Pupils from nine Aberdeen schools worked with Shmu (Station House Media Unit) to describe what the city’s heart means to them and their vision of its future.

The short film is being shared with all city primary and secondary schools and will provide background to the 25-year Masterplan programme, setting the context when engaging with youngsters as individual projects come forward.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s lead on the City Centre, said: “In bringing the City Centre Masterplan forward we are committed to giving youngsters a voice and this film demonstrates why that is so valuable.

“They believe in a bright future but also recognise the role they have to play in making that happen, and we can all learn from that.

“The City Centre Masterplan is their story to complete – and it promises to be a blockbuster.”

The schools involved were Bramble Brae Primary; Hanover Primary; Harlaw Academy; Hazlewood School; Middleton Park Primary; Northfield Academy; Robert Gordon’s College; St Joseph’s Primary; and Walker Road Primary.

Pupils explored its themes in classroom sessions and shot footage as well as sharing their views on camera about the city centre – highlighting jobs, shopping, green space and granite heritage as elements that might be enhanced under the regeneration programme.

Councillor John Wheeler, convener of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “The pupils can all be very proud of their achievement in making this film, which will act as a rallying call for years to come.

“Their enthusiasm for Aberdeen and the city centre shines through along with their determination to get involved in making our home even better.”

Brian Woodcock, Funding and Business Development Manager of city-based Shmu, said: “The experience of working with a range of schools and age groups for the City Centre Masterplan film was both enjoyable and really informative.

“This applied both to the process of undertaking workshops with the classes but also seeing the quality of output and the range of interpretations given to the Masterplan’s themes.

“The way that the children embraced the task and undertook a technical challenging activity within a very short period was remarkable.

“I was particularly impressed by the interviews that we undertook with the children. It was so gratifying to see how well they responded to a series of questions whilst being filmed – a task that adults, very often, don’t cope with very well.”

Amy Robertson, 10, from St Joseph’s Primary School, said: “You could be saying to your children or your grandchildren, ‘I changed that’ or ‘I put my word to that’.”

Emily Morrice, 11, from Middleton Park Primary, who worked behind the scenes, said: “It was fun putting footage together and trying to make up things.”

The City Centre Masterplan was unanimously adopted by Aberdeen City Council in 2015 and contains 50 projects to transform Aberdeen's heart.

A number of city schools have already provided views on individual Masterplan projects, including the revitalisation of Union Terrace Gardens and the proposed Aberdeen in Colour lighting strategy.

Main photograph shows (left to right): Cllr Marie Boulton, Emily Morrice, Cllr John Wheeler and Emily Morrice.