Revised £20m proposals for Union Terrace Gardens go on show

Union Terrace Gardens LDA DesignFresh proposals have been unveiled for a £20 million revitalisation of Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen to coincide with a public engagement exercise.

A key element of the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project, the Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) designs have been drawn up by landscape design consultancy LDA Design.

Features include a new walkway route from Union Street, providing better disabled access, and scope for keeping as many trees as possible.

Under the latest proposals, the central lawn would be kept as a “flexible space” for large-scale gatherings and events, while a new “entrance plaza” and cafe would be created opposite His Majesty’s Theatre to provide a venue for smaller activities.

A “grand staircase” would be reinstated as part of the new routes into the gardens from Rosemount Viaduct.

The new accessible walkway into the gardens would also include lift access into the lower level of the gardens, through an entrance building on Union Street.

Lift access would also be provided from Union Terrace into the upper level of the gardens, while new disabled parking spaces would be created near the walkway routes.

Kirstin Taylor, project director, LDA Design, 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.”

Neil Mattinson, board director, LDA Design, said: “The community’s ongoing participation is key to the success of the Gardens.

“We have taken on board a wide range of views and challenges identified by locals. We will continue to take on board views to inform the detailed development of proposals which we will work on in the New Year.”

Aberdeen City Council leader, Councillor 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.”

Deputy Council leader Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Board, added: “LDA Design has presented us with a vision we believe everyone can unite behind. They have taken as their starting point priorities spelled during the Masterplan consultation, in which thousands of people participated.

“It became very clear that UTG was important to residents as a garden space, one that would require sensitive handling but also significant interventions to make it a place for all.

“LDA Design has responded magnificently to those wishes and challenges, honouring UTG’s character and setting while offering imaginative new ways to transform the Gardens and the Denburn Valley.”

The online survey will run until December 9.

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