ABERDEEN City Centre is not immune to the challenge to the high street that is being experienced just about everywhere else in the country.

To an extent the vibrant oil and gas sector provided some insulation over the past few years, but it is well documented that this industry is going through something of a transition and this has inevitably played through the supply chain and onto our high street.

In keeping with any other town or city centre, the influence of e-commerce is, of course, having a growing effect on retail and Aberdeen understands only too well the need to diversify to enhance its offering.

Our main strategic response in the Granite City has been the cross-sector commitment to the 2015 Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan, which aims to transform our city centre and make it the destination of choice for both locals and growing numbers of visitors for many years to come. Several of its intended capital projects have or are on the cusp of delivery, not least in the east end of the city centre where Broad Street and Marischal Square have seen in the region of £110 million of investment. The much-debated £26m revamp of Union Terrace Gardens has been agreed, with work on the ground expected to commence towards the end of this year.

Read more: Aberdeen puts its faith in tourism as it weans itself off oil

The City Centre Masterplan understands that many of our traditional brick and mortar retail stores have moved from our main thoroughfare of Union Street, with many to be found in our very impressive shopping centres of Bon Accord and Union Square.

This leaves the door open for the office sector to come back into our city centre and with the welcome arrival of the £65m Silver Fin office building last year and the redeveloped Capitol building, both to the west end of Union Street, we are seeing that transition take effect on a grand scale.

In keeping with the Masterplan thinking, there are plans underway to bring up to a further 3,000 residents into our city centre, through the Aberdeen City Centre Living Strategy, complemented by a strategic car parking review to ensure we have a fit for purpose transport plan that will make our city centre accessible, lessen congestion and generally be a healthier place to live, work and visit.

As we increasingly look to diversify our economy, the relatively untapped tourism market for Aberdeen city and shire offers much potential. There are some real positive soundings coming from the new team at Visit Aberdeenshire and ambitious plans to considerably grow this sector.

Aberdeen city centre will undoubtedly benefit and when you consider the investment into the redevelopment of our Music Hall and Art Gallery, there is much to be bullish about.

Indeed, there is a growing understanding that Aberdeen needs to build on and market its wonderful arts and culture offering to a wider audience, with the recent return of the globally acclaimed NuArt (Aberdeen) Street Art Festival being a perfect illustration of what can be achieved with that can-do attitude and how the city is now prepared to push the boundaries.

With hotel rooms in the city centre now much more affordable, there are great opportunities to visit Aberdeen for a break and sample some great retail opportunities and the vibrant evening economy.

In terms of the latter, Aberdeen Inspired introduced the role of evening and night-time economy manager, which is based loosely on the night-time czar role in London and Berlin. This was a first for Scotland and has already paid dividends as the manager has been able to positively influence licensing decisions and policy - at both a local and national level - that affect our evening economy.

The new Aberdeen South Harbour at Nigg Bay represents a £330m investment that will offer a state of the art port that will not only service our energy sector, but present real opportunities for the city and region to be a destination of choice for the cruise market. Coupled with the £750m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route these are two more examples of huge capital projects that will add real value to the local economy.

Although our shop vacancy levels are currently below the national average, we understand that there are still many challenges that lie ahead for Aberdeen city centre, but I see organisations from across the three sectors working to a ‘Team Aberdeen’ ethos like never before.

Read more: Billions of pounds of projects to drive Aberdeen’s transformation

Some fantastic work is being undertaken by Opportunity North East and partners in looking to support not only our traditional oil and gas sector, but a wider portfolio of industry sectors that will favourably position the city and the surrounding area in national and international terms.

Aberdeen Inspired itself represents 800 businesses in the city centre and with that is the largest business improvement district in Scotland. It plays an integral and strategic role in driving the city centre forward in all that it does and has been recognised in the past year for its efforts by winning a host of UK awards, culminating in being named the best BID in Europe at a ceremony in Berlin in July 2017 that was attended by business and civic leaders from across the continent.

Adrian Watson is chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired.