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Huge interest in city centre masterplan opportunity

10/03/14

The opportunity to be involved in the creation of a city centre masterplan and delivery programme to drive the regeneration of Aberdeen City Centre has attracted a huge industry response.

A procurement brief, drawn up to set out a clear vision, strategy and action programme for the city centre, addresses issues raised in Aberdeen's ambitious Strategic Infrastructure Plan.

To date, more than 120 notes of interest in the pre-qualification questionnaire process have been received from a broad range of businesses, the names of which will remain confidential, based throughout the UK.

The Council is seeking 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 likely that the team will consist of a number of organisations working together as sub-contractors under a main contractor.

City Centre Regeneration Board chair Councillor Marie Boulton said: "This is an absolutely fantastic level of response and I am delighted to see such interest from around the country in working to create a visionary, transformational, coherent and deliverable template for the development of Aberdeen city centre.

"We are determined to drive regeneration and to deliver something really special.

"Aberdeen, as an economic powerhouse and modern international city, deserves a city centre which we can all be proud of and enjoy, which continues to attract business and secure the area's economic future, and which economically, culturally and socially revives the heart of Aberdeen.

"The City Centre Regeneration Board succeeded, through the Urgent Business Committee, in accelerating the procurement process and we are on-track with this exciting programme which has generated a huge level of industry interest."

The city centre masterplan and delivery programme form a key part of the Strategic Infrastructure Plan, which focuses on key planned projects to deliver infrastructure to enable growth, identifies the main areas where there are deficiencies in relation to the city's needs and the actions to be taken to address the gaps in both the shorter and longer term.

Council leader Barney Crockett said: "Aberdeen is a thriving, growing, successful city which is open for and continuing to attract significant levels of business.

"The city centre masterplan and delivery programme presents a wonderful opportunity for a variety of businesses to become involved in a very exciting project which will revitalise Aberdeen city centre and ensure the city's continuing strength and business drive."

Aberdeen City Council will underwrite the cost of the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme – for which external funding, including from the private sector, will be sought.

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 successful team will be expected to carry out full stakeholder engagement as they prepare the masterplan.

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 next week.

Businesses attending the industry day, which will be held in the Town House from 10am until noon on Thursday [13 March], will regard it not only as an opportunity to learn more about what the council is seeking, but also as an opportunity to engage with a wider network of professions and disciplines with which they are likely to collaborate and refine teams in order to submit to the first phase of the procurement process.