The Victorian heritage of Union Terrace Gardens and empty site of the former Summerhill Academy feel likes worlds apart – but they have been the centre of attention this week.
Both will be transformed, both will benefit from significant investment and both will breathe new life into important corners of the city.
On Monday we cut the turf at UTG, signalling the start of work on the £25.7m revitalisation of a jewel in Aberdeen’s crown, and yesterday we were at Summerhill to mark the launch of the construction programme that will deliver 369 new Council homes.
This week it has been about the excitement the start of work brings, with the first spade in the ground and the arrival of the earth movers on site.
With the excitement comes impatience – we all want Union Terrace Gardens now, we all want the vision for 2,000 new Council homes throughout the city to be a reality today.
Of course any major capital project takes time to deliver and we look forward to both the Gardens and Summerhill housing taking shape in the months ahead. An enormous amount of work has gone in behind the scenes to get to this stage and the careful planning, consultation and preparation will shine through in the finished developments.
The two projects are different on the surface, but link back to the economic ambitions for the city and the overarching determination to create a vibrant, prospersous city.
UTG will serve residents, providing a space to enjoy and to treasure. It will also support or goal of building Aberdeen’s reputation as a destination, complementing the nearby Music Hall, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Marischal Square and Broad Street regeneration as well as the creation of a visitor attraction at Provost Skene’s House.
Tourism is integral to the diversification of the regional economy and the capital investment being made by the Council is driving that strategy, supporting inclusive economic growth.
Providing high quality housing is a vital component of that inclusive approach, helping indivduals and families to thrive whilst enhancing communities. Of course, construction on this scale is also creating and maintaining employment in the sector – we’re proud of the commitment to apprenticeships and other community benefits that the Summerhill project includes.
Momentum continues to build and we look forward to sharing the next project milestones with you as 2019 shapes up to be a year to remember.
Cllr Jenny Laing and Cllr Douglas Lumsden