NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

New £20m Union Terrace Gardens proposals in Aberdeen unveiled

New UTG plan Image copyright LDA Design

Plans for a £20m revitalisation of an historic Aberdeen city centre park have been unveiled.

An online survey into the proposals for Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) has also been launched.

LDA Design said the aim - including new access from surrounding streets - was to make UTG a "lively cultural hub".

A report on the consultation is expected to go to full council in March next year. If approved, the target completion date is the autumn of 2019.

Four years ago, councillors rejected plans for a £140m transformation of the gardens. Businessman Sir Ian Wood had offered £50m towards the cost.

Image copyright LDA Design
Image copyright LDA Design

New access would be from Union Street and Union Terrace at the existing Burns Monument.

The central lawn space would be retained, and there would be a new café pavilion opposite His Majesty's Theatre (HMT).

Tree preservation

LDA Design project director Kirstin Taylor said: "Our aim is to make the gardens everyone's favourite all-year-round destination.

"The proposals enhance what is there, keeping as many trees as possible and providing a rich new planting scheme.

"Fine features such as the granite balustrading will be repaired, and the 'grand staircase' reinstated.

"We propose easier and more inviting access with new raised walks which allow for longer views and a gradual descent, and new disabled parking and lifts into the lower areas of the gardens.

"We are proposing a beautiful lighting installation as a beacon, and new lighting for the monuments and viaduct and the arches to animate the upper terrace.

"The gardens could be a lively cultural hub and our proposals include flexible spaces for events with an informal amphitheatre, and new community garden space.

"New facilities and more activities will make them feel safer."

Image copyright LDA Design

Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing said: "I am delighted with the proposals that LDA Design has brought forward for Union Terrace Gardens as part of our City Centre Masterplan.

"LDA was tasked with improving access, amenity and activity while conserving UTG's rich heritage - what residents asked for during a consultation on the Masterplan itself.

"These proposals respect the unique character of the gardens while making the space more usable for all. I would urge all residents to share their views so the LDA can refine the design and ensure we get the best result for everyone.

"Union Terrace Gardens represents a glorious gift from the past and in turn can be our gift to future generations. It is ours to nurture."

The plans will also be on show at The Academy in Belmont Street this weekend, and the Christmas Village on Union Terrace Gardens next week.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites