An Aberdeen park will be closed for nearly two years as a multimillion pound revamp is carried out.
Union Terrace Gardens is in line for a huge facelift, with LDA Design’s plans including a new entrance plaza, lift access from Union Terrace, a “halo” lighting feature and community gardens alongside the rail track.
An initial cost was put for the large-scale work at £17million, which climbed to £20million when the designs were made public.
Now it is understood that the council will pay around £22million for the work with around £3million expected to be ploughed in by the private sector.
And according to a council report, the park will be closed for 21 months from October to July 2019.
A report to next week’s full council meeting says annual upkeep of the developed green space is expected to be around £250,000 a year, with around £300,000 taken in from rents of the tenants of the new arch space.
It further estimates nearly 260 jobs will created over the building period and footfall in the park each year will be increased from about 60,000 currently to around 260,000.
Council leader Jenny Laing said: “A lot of people in the city wanted to see the gardens enhanced but in a way that retained the Victorian heritage.
“When we were elected in 2012 there was a lot of division in the city over the future of the gardens so I think with these designs we are in a much better place than then.
“We got the ideas of the public and I think these plans really take into account what people want to see in the future.”
Deputy council leader Marie Boulton said it had taken five years to bring about the long-awaited plans as the council was ensuring it “got it right”.
She said: “I think, in the long run, it is better to take your time and get it right in the end rather than rush it.”
Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill said his group were “generally supportive” of the plan.
But he added: “This project must be closely managed to ensure it does not go over time or budget as others have.”