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Programme put forward for city centre masterplan


The process and timeline for procuring a masterplan for Aberdeen city centre has been unveiled to the City Centre Regeneration Board.

Aberdeen City Council agreed to underwrite the cost of the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme - for which external funding, including from the private sector, will be sought - up to the value of 750,000.

A procurement brief, drawn up to set of a clear vision, strategy and action programme for the city centre, addresses issues raised in the Robert Gordon University paper Regenerating Aberdeen: A Vision for a Thriving and Vibrant City Centre.

The masterplan and delivery programme, which will guide future development and investment, will take existing projects, including Marischal Square, the Art Gallery extension and a variety of other committed projects, into account and seek to integrate them into a high-quality urban environment. It will also address what is missing from a successful city centre.

The Board supported recommendations to appoint a multi-disciplinary team, demonstrating a design-led approach with a detailed understanding of access and movement, infrastructure, market demand, and delivery to work with the council and partners to produce the masterplan and a robust, co-ordinated delivery programme for the city centre.

It is expected that the masterplan and delivery programme will take a minimum of nine months to prepare. Bidders will be asked to submit proposals for completing the masterplan and delivery programme in six, nine or 12 months. It is anticipated that feedback on the feasibility of those timescales will be received during an industry day which is to take place next month.

City Centre Regeneration Board chair, deputy council leader Marie Boulton said:
"The procurement of a masterplan and delivery programme for the city centre is an absolutely crucial piece of work. It is important that we get it underway as soon as possible so that we can clearly identify what the city centre needs and how we can achieve it.

"All Board members were very keen to get this work underway as soon as practically possible and unanimously agreed to request that the matter, which had been due to go before Full Council next month, should be fast-tracked and considered instead by the Urgent Business Committee. I am delighted that this request has been so readily agreed to, saving three weeks of delay in getting this work underway."

Two members of the City Centre Regeneration Board have been invited to form part of an evaluation team, which it is proposed should be established to assess submissions made by bidders for the masterplan and delivery programme contract.

The creation of a project team, comprising council officers and representatives of city centre services and stakeholders, which will developed the detailed scope of work to be included in the invitation to tender for the masterplan and delivery programme contract is also proposed.

The Board supported the proposals, which will be considered by the Urgent Business Committee on Friday [14 February].