Scottish government denies 'anti-Aberdeen' accusation

Union Terrace Gardens The future of Union Terrace Gardens is pivotal in discussions

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The Scottish government has denied Labour claims of being anti-Aberdeen, over plans for the future of the city.

Finance convenor Councillor Willie Young made the accusation ahead of a meeting with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon next week.

The delegation from Aberdeen wants to discuss its proposals for city centre regeneration and how it will be funded.

The Scottish government said that it had not received an alternative Tax Incremental Financing business case.

In August, Aberdeen's controversial City Garden Project was narrowly rejected after a council debate.

The vital vote focused on the proposed £140m plan - backed by £50m from businessman Sir Ian Wood - to transform the historic Union Terrace Gardens.

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) would have seen a £92m loan being paid back by increased income from business rates.

Not be considered

In September, Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil confirmed to the chamber that there was no chance of the city receiving TIF funding for any scheme that did not involve the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens.

The full detail of the new plans have not been made public yet.

Mr Young claimed Ms Sturgeon appeared unwilling to listen.

A Scottish government spokesperson stressed it had been made clear to the council that unless the business case relates directly to Union Terrace Gardens, it would not be considered.

The SNP group leader on Aberdeen City Council, Callum McCaig, said the problem was that Labour councillors did not know what they wanted.

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