‘Transformed’ Union Terrace Gardens set for pre-Christmas opening

Union Terrace Gardens

THE £25.9 million transformation of Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens is nearing practical completion and is set to open to the public before Christmas, the city’s council has said.

It comes as part of an update by the local authority on the progress being made on projects across Aberdeen including the Countesswells Primary School build, the B999 Shielhill Road Junction project, Torry Primary School and Hub, the Energy from Waste plant, Tillydrone Primary School, the new mortuary at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and new council housing.

With Balfour Beatty’s work at Union Terrace nearing completion, Aberdeen City Council confirmed that the SPECTRA – Scotland’s festival of light – is to return to being partly held in Union Terrace Gardens in February.

The new Countesswells Primary is set to open in spring/summer 2023 with construction works ‘well advanced’. The build of Torry Primary School and Hub is 50% complete, with the council anticipating it to be completed by autumn 2023.

An assessment of tenders received from firms is set to take place in early 2023 for the Tillydrone Primary School project, the local authority added. While the target date for completion within the tender documentation is summer 2024, this may be dependent on the tender returns received given current external factors affecting the construction sector such as energy supplies and material/labour availability.

For the B999 Shielhill Road Junction, the council said the project’s delivery timeline will be determined by the time taken to obtain the necessary land to build the scheme. Since May 2022, alignment and junction design work has continued. Finalisation of the land footprint has been delayed due to complications arising from the existing culvert and SSE transmission apparatus, however the issues should be resolved soon allowing the land footprint to be finalised and landowner negotiations to start later this financial year.

The Energy from Waste plant works are also progressing, with the completion date expected to be summer 2023. Delivery of the project to date has been hampered by several issues, both internally and externally, the council said.

In light of inflationary pressures and increased costs in the housing sector, the council said it has been decided to complete two of the new council housing projects – Tillydrone and Kaimhill – and suspend all works at Craighill and Kincorth. Works at Summerhill and Auchmill are either partially or fully completed.

Aberdeen City Council finance and resources committee convener, councillor Alexander McLellan, said, “It was good to hear the updates today of all of these capital projects. We are pleased with progress as it has been a difficult few years for the construction sector and we look forward to more updates in the months to come.”