Aberdeen city councillors yesterday (24 June 2015) seized a once-in-a-generation opportunity to kick-start a 20-year regeneration programme for the city centre.
The principles outlined in a presentation from independent consultants BDP on the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan were unanimously accepted – with further details on the delivery programme mechanisms to be decided at the next council meeting in August.
Aberdeen City Council appointed a multi-disciplinary team headed by internationally renowned masterplanning consultancy BDP to work with the public, businesses and a range of stakeholder organisations to draw up the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme.
A full list of the proposals is available on the Aberdeen City Council website at http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/council_government/shaping_aberdeen/City_Centre_Masterplan.asp.
Council Leader and Leader of the Labour Group Councillor Jenny Laing said: “These proposals once delivered will have a significant and positive impact on our city. With the potential for an extra 5,500 jobs and an increase of £280million in the city’s gross annual income it is an opportunity that all councillors have today seized.
“We now have to focus on the delivery programme for each of the projects and of course we will need to work with all our partners to secure the funding necessary to change our city for the better and to help build a city that attracts visitors and investors from across the globe.”
Independent Group Leader and Chair of the City Centre Masterplan Working Group Councillor Marie Boulton said: “Leading the Masterplan working group has been an honour. With representatives from all the groups on the council and a good range of stakeholders we were able to agree that a long-term city vision was needed.
“The public were clear that they wanted a strong city centre events programme which also sought to provide a cultural focus for the city.”
Conservative Group Leader Councillor Ross Thomson said: “We now have an ambitious and bold plan that ensures that city centre regeneration is not just talked about but actually delivered.
“Today we have finally agreed a framework that enables change, encourages regeneration, transforms the city centre and repairs its broken heart. We can now move forward with the full backing of all councillors, of our universities, and of our business community.”
SNP Group Leader Cllr Jackie Dunbar said: “We all share the goal of improving our city centre and I am pleased to support the proposals presented to us by Independent Masterplanning consultants BDP.
“Their suggestions follow extensive public consultation which identified that the public were hungry for change. There is still a great deal to do and each project still needs to be discussed further on its individual merits.”
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: “The proposals will deliver positive benefits accessible to residents across the city and include more and improved public space from Union Street to Castlegate to Union Terrace Gardens.
“On top of that an additional 1600 homes could be created in the city centre that will help maintain it as a thriving and economically viable place to live and work.”
The next council meeting will take place on 19th August 2015.