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Preferred bidder selected to develop city centre masterplan


An international, interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists has been selected as the preferred bidder to develop a masterplan and delivery programme for Aberdeen city centre.

Members of the Full Council unanimously agreed to select Building Design Partnership (BDP) as the preferred bidder. The City Centre Regeneration Board had recommended the firm to Full Council, based on the findings of an evaluation panel which scrutinised and scored six shortlisted bids.

Deputy Council leader Marie Boulton, who chairs the City Centre Regeneration Board, said: "I am really pleased that we have reached the stage of appointing a preferred bidder so quickly. The City Centre Regeneration Board was established to bring the public and private sectors together to identify what our city centre needs to rejuvenate it and to make it an exciting, attractive place where people want to be.

"We cannot simply wave a magic wand to improve the city centre, but with BDP's expertise and by consulting widely with the public and other stakeholders, we can identify a range of projects which will make a marked and very positive difference to the city centre.

"Regeneration of our city centre is essential for Aberdeen and I am very pleased that councillors unanimously agreed to select this firm of experts, which has considerable experience of working in the public realm, as the preferred bidder to deliver a masterplan and delivery programme for the regeneration of the city centre."

BDP director of architecture Scott Mackenzie said: "BDP is absolutely delighted to have been chosen to assist Aberdeen City Council to prepare a new vision and delivery programme for the city centre. This project is an exciting and stimulating challenge and represents a real opportunity to re-energise Aberdeen; a city where we have a rich and continuing legacy of work."

The council's Strategic Infrastructure Plan identifies the regeneration of the city centre as a key priority for Aberdeen.

BDP has been tasked with preparing a phased transformational masterplan for the city centre, incorporating detailed proposals for the Denburn Valley area, and a delivery programme for it, within nine months of being fully contracted.

The masterplan will provide a visionary, integrated, coherent and compelling template for the sustainable development of the city centre, informed by a robust appraisal of the city centre's economy and its main property and development markets to form the basis of an assessment of Aberdeen's economic growth prospects and targets over 20 years. The vision will define what the city needs to meet its aspirations and ambitions.

Other areas of study which the masterplan will take in include: the east and west gateways of Castlegate and Holburn; the potential offered by the North Dee/Palmerston area; future proposals for Aberdeen Harbour; and transport and connectivity.

It will also make recommendations on the distribution of land uses across the masterplan area and the preferred locations for specific development opportunities and supporting amenities.