City officials refused to rule out partially funding a new stadium for Aberdeen FC as part of a regeneration of the beachfront – opening the door for joint ventures between the club and the council.
A state-of-the-art sporting arena has been put forward as part of a wider project, which would also include new leisure facilities, upgraded transport links and a revamp of the Beach Ballroom.
The plans are part of radical proposals for a masterplan designed to regenerate the area around the beach.
Green light for stadium business case
Local authority chiefs are keen for a stadium to be part of the wider sport and leisure offering at the beach – and have now given the green light for council officers to establish which options would be the most viable and how much it would cost.
The move was agreed at a meeting of the city growth and resources committee, which met on Wednesday to discuss a range of proposals.
Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill proposed an amendment ruling out the use of public funds for any stadium.
However, he was outvoted, with members of the committee citing the possibility for joint ventures between the council and the Dons.
Council ‘cannot rule out best option’
Council leader Jenny Laing said the authority would be “tying its hands” by ruling out providing part of the funding for a stadium when it “may be the best option”.
SNP group leader Alex Nicoll also backed the motion, claiming there were “valid questions over what joint measures might legitimately be pursued”.
Business cases for each of the options will be presented to the city growth and resources committee at its next meeting in November.
The Dons already have planning permission for a new stadium at Kingsford, at the site of their training facility which opened in 2019.
The whole area would be redeveloped, with three concepts for the design put forward and based around historic features relating to the beach.
The ultimate goal for the authority, according to city growth and resources convener Ryan Houghton, is to make the beach an “attractive destination for those who don’t normally use it”.
Full business cases for the proposals will be presented to the committee in November.