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AECC redevelopment public consultation gets underway


The first stage of the public consultation process for the new multi-million pound Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre at Bucksburn gets under way this week. 

Brenda Munro discusses the plans with a Bridge Of Don resident Henry Boot Developments Limited, one of the UK's leading property development companies, will host three public consultation events to seek views on plans for the proposed new exhibition and conference centre at Bucksburn, as well as re-development plans for the AECC site in Bridge of Don.

The consultation will play a key role in helping those living and working in the city to shape the future of the Bucksburn and Bridge of Don projects.

The first of two consultation phases will begin on Thursday in Bridge of Don, move to Bucksburn on Friday, and conclude in the city centre on Saturday.

Aberdeen City Council appointed Henry Boot Developments as a joint-venture partner for the multi-million pound redevelopment of the AECC, to deliver a bigger, better exhibition and conference venue which is a key element of the business structure needed to promote Aberdeen as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe

Nick Harris of Henry Boot Developments – Aberdeen City Council's development partner for the project – said: "We are delighted to be taking our proposals for both sites out to the people of Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland this week and I hope that we see a good turnout from those who live locally and those from further afield over the course of the next three days. View 1.

"We have already carried out a number of pre-consultation meetings with key stakeholders and have been greatly encouraged by the positive response so far from those participants. Now it is the turn of the wider Aberdeen residential and business communities to give us their views and feedback on our plans, and I encourage as many people as possible to come along to one of the events and participate in the process.

"The responses that we receive during this period will be taken into account as we move forward, with our plan being to conduct a second phase of public consultation in September, where we will let participants see the progress we make with our detailed plans for both sites prior to full planning applications being submitted towards the end of the year."

Visiting the event to study the plans are Charles & Sandra McWhan. Council leader Jenny Laing said: "We must ensure that Aberdeen, as a leading world energy city, continues to attract large and popular events to the city. The AECC makes a crucial contribution to the economy of Aberdeen and the broader city region and we must ensure that we have an excellent facility if enable it to continue doing so.

"The AECC is a key element of the business infrastructure needed to promote Aberdeen as the energy capital of Europe and is a key priority in our Strategic Infrastructure Plan. It is essential that Aberdeen has a state-of-the-art exhibition and conference centre fit for a 21st century world energy city if we are to succeed in that.

"The proposed move to Bucksburn is an exciting one which opens up new opportunities for the Bridge of Don site. I am very pleased to see the project moving on and into the early stages of the planning process. I would encourage everyone who can, to go along to the consultation events to find out more about the proposals and have their say."

Aberdeen City Council will enter into a 35 year lease of the newly completed facility, after which it will be entitled to purchase the AECC development, including the land, for 1. The Bridge of Don site will contribute towards the cost of the new facility.

The proposed multi-use arena will aim to be the most sustainable building of its type in the UK. The 150 acre site is large enough to accommodate the new AECC, hotels, leisure and office accommodation, as well as significant public open space and a significant amount of car parking. View 2.

A mixed-use development including residential and commercial uses, including affordable housing, is proposed for the Bridge of Don site.

The public consultation events are scheduled as follows:
•  Thursday 29 May: Jesmond Centre, Jesmond Drive, Bridge of Don, AB22 8UR :12 – 8pm
•  Friday 30 May: Beacon Centre, Bucksburn Community Campus, Kepplehills Road, Bucksburn, AB21 9DG : 12 – 8pm
•  Saturday 31 May: Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FQ : 12– 5pm

The exhibition will then be displayed at Marischal College and at the AECC.

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