A UK Government Minister was in Aberdeen yesterday visiting the site of a £20million Levelling Up grant which will help to provide jobs in the city.

Michael Gove MP, who is Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, was shown around the site of the new Aberdeen market which is to be a destination venue featuring international-style food and drink outlets.

The development will also create pedestrian connectivity between Union Street and the bus and railway stations including an escalator, enliven Hadden Street and Market Street, and also provide streetscape improvements in and around the Green.

The site would be developed with attractive market-style floorspace to create a facility with marketplace elements promoting local produce and goods alongside continental style delicatessen, cafes, and food outlets.

The design will feature a mixture of fixed indoor units of various sizes alongside space for temporary and pop-up facilities to allow for increased variety and would be flexible to seasonal requirements. There would also be a flexible-use outside space which could be used for music events or for further market space.

The City Council has received £20million from the UK Levelling Up Fund which will be used towards the development of the new market and improvements to Union Street Central. The then-Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP made the funding announcement as part of the UK Government’s budget plans for 2021.

Following the visit, Mr Gove, who is also Minister for Intergovernmental Relations and is from Aberdeen, said: “I am delighted to be back in my hometown of Aberdeen today to see first-hand how levelling up funding is transforming the city.

“Our £20 million investment will ensure Aberdeen continues to prosper with the creation of a vibrant new market space and upgraded transport links turbo charging levelling up.

“This forms part of a huge £2.3 billion from the UK Government to tackle geographic inequalities, create jobs and provide exciting new opportunities for people right across Scotland.”

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Ian Yuill said: “I was pleased to have the opportunity to show Mr Gove around the site of the new market today. The UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund grant has been a tremendous boost for this city centre development.

“The new building will be a destination venue for the city featuring international-style food and drink outlets. It will also improve pedestrian links between Union Street and the bus and railway stations.

“The market development will create jobs, bring a vibrant and exciting new destination for people to visit, and provide an important escalator link between Union Street and the bus and train stations.”

The former BHS building had been vacant for approximately seven years before it was bought by the City Council.

Demolition work has taken place on the former BHS building and legal work is now going on in preparation for the next stage of the works. A planning application for a create the new market has been submitted.

The central section of Union Street and Aberdeen market building are critical components in the Heart of the City area of intervention identified in the City Centre Masterplan, which has the key objective to reinstate the central role of Union Street in the life of the city, establishing stronger linkages north and south and creating a destination not just for shopping but for many city activities.

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