The Recent History of Aberdeen

Written on Friday, 03 February 2017

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third most populous city, nicknamed the “Granite City” as it’s famous for its silver buildings. The city has a long and interesting history from reports of settlers arriving in 6000 BC to the current day as a business hub and energy capital of Europe.

15th - 19th Century

Aberdeen was Scotland’s economic hot spot due to the city’s waterfront location. The city was the leading exporter of salmon, a major exporter of wool and a key whaling destination. Whisky distillation as well as shipbuilding became massive industries, employing many Aberdonians before the city of Glasgow industrialised and Aberdeen lost its status as Scotland’s second city.

In this time, the city developed its most inherent trait – a city where the majority of its buildings are made from granite. The construction of Union Street was the most challenging development the city had faced. The project bankrupted the city council but left an unforgettable street full of grand, impressive buildings, giving the city its well-known nickname, the “Granite City”.

1969 – 2017

In 1969 an extensive amount of crude oil was discovered in the North Sea, overshadowing the city’s traditional industries and giving it new nicknames such as the “Oil Capital of Europe”. The oil industry boosted the city’s economy, employing an estimated 500,000 people from in and around the city as well as driving the house prices up and bringing prosperity to the area.

A more recent decline in oil prices has resulted in a dip in Aberdeen’s economy with efforts to push for the city to be known as the “Energy Capital of Europe” instead. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, states “While currently low prices are a challenge, North Sea oil is a fantastic asset for Scotland and will continue to be so for decades to come. With the right support, we can ensure that Aberdeen remains the energy capital of Europe for the next 50 years.”

Orega are delighted to be opening their first business centre in Scotland. Based in the prestigious Silver Fin Building on Union Street in the centre of Aberdeen, the area is steeped in the city’s interesting history. The contemporary centre provides flexible workspace and is an excellent location for a range of businesses from 2-100+ people. Register your interest for our newest centre here.


Aberdeen, oil industry, Scotland

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