Councillors have approved the next stage of work in the first phase in the transformation of Aberdeen’s beachfront.

Councillors at the full Council meeting approved a framework for proceeding and monitoring phase one of the transformation – for which preparatory work was agreed in December – which will see the creation of a new urban park, an events park, new landscaping and structures on Broadhill as well as cycle lanes.

Councillors also noted the extensive consultations undertaken by officers with regard to connectivity to the beach including and approved a motion by the Council Co Leaders instructing the Chief Officer Commercial and Procurement to ensure engagement with key stakeholders at all key stages in the development of the design while also seeking additional funding to support and deliver the wider City Beach Masterplan bearing in mind that maximised active travel access between the city centre and beach area requires improved infrastructure along the whole route.

The motion also noted the principles underpinning officer’s preferred option for improving active travel by reducing the scale of the Commerce Street / Beach Boulevard Junction roundabout and instructed the Chief Officer to investigate opportunities to reconfigure areas of the roundabout to ensure the Council is able to demonstrate both best value and a contribution to the Council’s Net Zero targets.

The approved motion also initiates a plan which will see the historic Castlegate become a gateway to the city's beachfront with the Chief Officer, Strategic Place Planning, being instructed to carry out consultation with key stakeholders on creating an active travel and public transport link through the Castlegate to deliver this objective as part of the Beach Connectivity Project and to report to a future Council meeting on this.

Councillors also approved a Strategic Outline Case for ensuring that Phase C projects, including an enhanced Esplanade, accessibility ramps, and new facilities for beach users, align with the coastal management strategy requirements such as flood prevention.

Council Co Leader, Councillor Ian Yuill, said: “This is an important step in making the plans for enhancing Aberdeen’s beachfront a reality.

“As this moves forward, we want to hear as wide a range of views as possible – and especially from those who live in the area.

“Historically, Aberdeen beach was a magnet for holiday makers from all over Scotland and with a new influx of cruise ships as well as more Scots opting to take holidays here in Scotland, it is important that Aberdeen’s beachfront is as welcoming an attraction as it can be for local people and visitors alike.”

Fellow Co Leader, Councillor Alex Nicoll, said: “This is another important milestone in our bold plans to enhance a natural asset which has long been the envy of other cities in Scotland.

“By improving connectivity, accessibility and facilities we are confident of attracting even more visitors from near and far to enjoy our fabulous beach.

“It is crucial that, in doing so, we ensure that all the required arrangements are in place to protect the coastline and today’s decisions were taken with that very much in mind.”

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