City’s time for transformation

Aberdeen is prominent in the Scottish Cities Alliance investment scheme, with a masterplan that provides a clear vision for its future

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Helping Scotland’s cities reach their full economic potential is a key aim of the Scottish Cities Alliance, a unique collaboration of Scot­land’s seven cities and the Scottish Government working together to deliver economic growth.

With an investment prospectus high­lighting opportunities from the cities’ £10bn investment plans across the seven city regions, the Alliance aims to attract external investment, stimulate economic activity and create new jobs and business opportunities. The vast breadth of opportunity available highlights Scotland’s cities as modern places in which to invest and do business.

The Alliance’s ambitious plans range over the short, medium and long term to create the conditions to deliver expansion, by strategically focusing on infrastructure, low carbon and Smart Cities initiatives, aligned to City Invest­ment Plans.

By utilising the strengths of Scot­land’s seven cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling – in partnership with the Scottish Government, the Alliance engages with domestic and interna­tional investors to attract investment into our cities, most recently at MIPIM UK in London, the largest gathering of the country’s most powerful property professionals.

Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “This is an exciting time for Aberdeen, with a
range of major developments in the pipeline or nearing completion in the office, hotel, leisure and industrial sec­tors. The council has also committed millions to major infrastructure pro­jects and has agreed on a City Centre Masterplan which offers major oppor­tunities for investment.

“We recognise the benefit of part­nership working through the Scottish Cities Alliance and the positive impact that can have on economic activity and growth in the Aberdeen area.”

Aberdeen features prominently in the Alliance’s investment prospectus, which was relaunched at MIPIM UK by Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown MSP, with a range of projects which are being marketed internationally.

Within the Scottish Cities Alliance’s investment prospectus, Aberdeen has several key projects, including Aberdeen City Centre Regeneration which details how major plans are under way to trans­form the heart of the city including the £107m Marischal Square development and the £30m refurbishment of Aber­deen Art Gallery.

The Aberdeen City Centre Master­plan has identified key projects across city centre as part of its 20-year vision. The City Centre delivery programme provides a clear vision for Aberdeen with a call for £1bn investment.

Within its proposal, the master­plan has identified the opportunity for retail and leisure development, office development, hotel development and residential development (approximately 1,600 new dwellings).

The Aberdeen City Centre master­plan, which was approved by Aberdeen City Council in June 2015, is driven by the global significance of the city centre as the metropolitan hub of the energy capital of Europe. Within the master­plan, there are eight intervention areas that include a total of 49 projects. Fourteen have been identified as key development projects which are sig­nificant in scale and impact in securing change for the city centre and focus on secure economic growth, increase hous­ing mix and tenure and increase the commercial and retail offer to support Aberdeen as a global energy city.

Also in the Alliance’s investment prospectus is Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Aberdeen’s new Exhibition and Con­ference Centre (AECC) will be a key element of the business infrastructure that promotes Aberdeen as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe.
This £333m mixed-use development will see a number of commercial and business investment opportunities. A total of £250m is being sought in investment.

Aberdeen City Council has agreed that the best investment model to deliver the AECC development is through a 35-year strip lease where Aberdeen City Council will pay an annual lease to the invest­ment partner.

The new AECC has been designed to provide a range of flexible spaces com­prising a multi-purpose arena that provides flexibility to host a large range of exhibition, entertainment and sport­ing events, a multipurpose sub-divisible exhibition hall, and a range of confer­ence facilities.

Integrated within the AECC is a 200-bedroom four-star hotel which connects to the AECC at ground floor concourse and first floor conference suite level. The hotel will also have an animated frontage at ground and first floor level with bars, restaurants, and conference and spa facilities.

Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, Councillor Andrew Burns, said: “The Alliance has a range of investor oppor­tunities across the country’s seven cities, with more than 40 development opportunities across residential, hotel and leisure and office and industrial sectors, all of which are featured in the online Investment Prospectus, where Aberdeen features prominently.

“Scotland offers huge potential to international investors and the Alli­ance has great ambitions for Scotland’s city economies which are high quality locations in which to do business. Our recent visit to MIPIM UK sparked a great deal of interest in the Alliance and the many investable projects we have on offer, and we hope that this continues as Scotland’s cities grow economically stronger.

“I am sure that, thanks to our ongo­ing collaboration and the development of the Scottish Cities Alliance’s £10bn Investment Prospectus, we can look for­ward to attracting major investments from across the globe.”