NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Retail Rocks Aberdeen project 'should be rolled out'

Mnemonic Photography
Image caption Mnemonic Photography is one of the new Torry businesses

A Dragons' Den-style challenge to regenerate an Aberdeen community should be rolled out across Scotland, it has been claimed.

The winners of Retail Rocks were given empty shop units rent free for a year in the Torry area, plus ongoing business support.

The budding entrepreneurs say trading has got off to a good start.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for other Scottish councils to adopt the project.

The scheme, backed by the public and private sector, was the first of its kind in Scotland.

BBC Scotland has learned discussions are already at an early stage with East Lothian Council and East Ayrshire Council to replicate it.

Mnemonic Photography, run by Steven Bedford and Lindsay Stott, is one of the new Torry businesses, which is being run from a former boarded-up unit.

They said their first two weeks had been even busier than expected, with people coming in off the street as well as finding them through sources such as Twitter.

The local community has also welcomed the project as something offering hope to young people in the area.

Retail Rocks is being funded by the Scottish government, the city council and local businesses.

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