Public Art

Allagreue Stone, CorgarffPublic Art offers Aberdeenshire, its people and partners, the opportunity to express what is special and unique about our environment. Public Art can make a significant contribution to the quality of life within communities – from the physical enhancements of streetscapes, architecture, lighting schemes and our public spaces, to the fostering of community pride and ownership of towns and villages, involving communities in the rediscovery of their local cultural heritage, and the creation of new public spaces.

“The contribution of art and artists is more than merely placing a piece of public art in front of a building, or staging a performance in a public space.” Charles Landry Director of Comedia

Public Art Strategy

Aberdeenshire Council’s Public Art Strategy was adopted in 2006. The provision of high quality design in the built environment is a key factor that influences local perceptions of an improved quality of life, as well as providing an attraction to economic investors. Aberdeenshire Council believes that through encouraging the integration of quality artworks into the built environment and adopting the highest standards in the design of new development and infrastructure, attractive and integrated communities can be sustained across our part of Scotland.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Public Art Strategy will complement and support a wide range of existing strategies, from environmental, infrastructure, regeneration and economic policies, to cultural and community development.


  • Deliver Per cent for Art across the whole of Aberdeenshire, contributing to the development Aberdeenshire Council’s Area Plans.
  • Engage communities in the design, production and siting of public art.
  • Work with external agencies to deliver Public Art projects by maximising resources and sharing skills.
  • Work with the development industry to deliver Public Art as an integral part of the construction process.
  • Recognise and promote the role of artists across a range of environmental and public realm projects.


Percent For Art

With the introduction of a new Aberdeenshire Public Art Strategy in 2006, Developers are also asked to consider the wider design and consultancy role that artists can contribute to their design teams, in respect of the creation of high quality and visually stimulating public spaces. This role, along with the more traditional approaches of producing decorative features, interior artworks and site-specific sculpture, can be facilitated through the Percent for Art mechanism.

It should be noted that artists and craftspeople can play a role in delivering standard components within many development budgets such as paving, lighting or street furniture. Such items will already have an identified capital cost that could contribute towards Percent for Art obligations.

ellon otterDevelopers are encouraged to consider how they will involve artists and makers at the pre-application stage. Arts Development and Planning Officers can provide advice in this regard

The scale and characteristics of each development will determine the level of percentage contributions sought. Major developments will be expected to deliver the stated 1% allocation, whereas other developments may be viewed within a sliding scale of contributions. (examples can be found in the Aberdeenshire Public Arts Guidance Note Towards Best Practice 2006 page 10)(pdf 2mb)

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