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Ambitious community project aims to breathe new life into former Grove Nursery site


Aberdeen City Council's Housing and Environment Committee has been updated on an ambitious project aimed at breathing new life into the former Grove Nursery.

Under the proposals, the site at Hazlehead, previously a working nursery where plants were propagated and grown, would be transformed into a hub for a range of environmental projects, involving the community, schools and social enterprises.

Councillors on the Housing and Environment Committee met on Tuesday 11 March and approved the vision statement for the project as: Hazlehead Grove Nursery – a smart, green place to grow people and communities.

The Committee also heard about plans for a city-wide community engagement exercise which aims to generate interest in the Grove Nursery project and encourage as many groups and organisations as possible to get involved.

Proposals on how the 18-acre site could be divided into plots for various smaller projects were also presented to Committee. Options include reinstating a working nursery on part of the land, installing greenhouses, pollytunnels and potting sheds for use by the public or creating educational and community gardens.

A working group comprising elected members and senior officials in the Council's environmental services team has been established which will report back to Housing and Environment Committee as plans for the site progress.

Grove Nursery Working Group Chair and Housing and Environment Vice-Convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: "What we have at Grove Nursery is a blank canvas presenting a rare opportunity to create a fantastic range of projects that would breathe new life into this site and promote the skills required for working outdoors.

"Environmental projects such as this also create great educational and vocational opportunities and we expect this project to generate a considerable amount of interest from the public.

"There is huge potential here for community groups, schools, social enterprises and members of the public to get on board.

"Being a community-focussed project it is essential that we encourage as much feedback as possible and part of the process will be to invite groups to tell us how they could benefit from this initiative.

"We have drawn up a robust community engagement plan and will now be pressing ahead with that to ensure individuals, groups and organisations are aware of the potential opportunities at Grove.

"Clearly this is a work in progress and the division of land, timescales and funding for the project is something we will continue to work towards.

"In the meantime we would ask people bear with us as we work towards transforming Grove Nursery into a smart, green place to grow people and communities."