Aberdeen FC and council in new stadium talks

image copyrightAberdeen FC
image captionKingsford was given the legal go-ahead in 2019

Talks have taken place between Aberdeen FC and the city council over the potential for a new stadium near its current home at Pittodrie.

The club has planning permission for a new ground at Kingsford, where they have opened training facilities.

It confirmed that discussions have taken place over strengthening links between the city centre and beachfront.

Councillor Marie Boulton, the city centre masterplan lead, said talks were at a "very early" stage.

Aberdeen FC said in a statement: "With Pittodrie earmarked for housing, we are a key stakeholder at the beach.

"During initial conversations, the possibility of the club being involved in the sports and leisure element was discussed.

"It's far too early to make any comment on whether or not this would be progressed by either the club or the council."

However, the spokeswoman added: "We remain committed to a new stadium, sports and community facilities at Kingsford, albeit our plans to progress to the next stage have stalled due to the financial challenges we are facing as a result of the pandemic."

Ms Boulton said initial talks started last year, adding: "We're at very early stages, but there is an ambition to bring forward the beach masterplan and we always thought with that there should be a real focus on Aberdeen Football Club.

"We'd like to explore all avenues with the football club to see if there's a way to keep them in their spiritual home at Pittodrie. I think there's real opportunities for both of us if we can find a way forward."

'Situations change'

She continued: "We're not ruling anything in or out. We want to make sure whatever we do works for both parties and wider Aberdeen. It would be irresponsible for me at this stage to speculate on whether there would be a move from Pittodrie to a site close by, but it's definitely something we are exploring.

"From the council's perspective, the footfall from the football is really important. It's not about back tracking, it's about moving with the times and realising that sometimes situations change."

The club's plans for a new £50m stadium were given a legal go-ahead in March 2019.

The 20,000-seater development proposed for Kingsford, near Westhill, was to replace Pittodrie.

However, campaigners claimed the site was an incursion into green belt land, and alternatives were available.

The No Kingsford Stadium group raised a judicial review into the planning process, but Lord Tyre refused the petition.

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