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Dons praise council’s ‘real vision’ for new ‘focal point’ stadium

Aberdeen City Council are exploring the possibility of a new stadium at the beach.

The Dons have praised the city council’s “real vision” in the new stadium designs which they believe will act as “focal point” of the beach regeneration.

Chairman, Dave Cormack has said the plans, released today, are the type of “forward thinking” the city needs to pull out from the downturn in oil and gas and aid with covid recovery.

The local authority has just unveiled more detailed proposals for its much-heralded beach masterplan, which they hope will include a new home for Aberdeen FC.

Earlier this year we revealed the club was on the brink of abandoning long-held plans to move to Kingsford on the outskirts of the city and instead remain close to its historic Pittodrie home.

That was after the council and club executives held “productive” talks over the possibility as part of £150 million plans to revamp the city centre and beachfront.

And they have not ruled out providing part of the funding for the new ground, which would include community facilities as well as a new home for the Dons.

Now officials have selected their preferred option for the wider development, which will cover the area from the Castlegate to the beach.

Aberdeen City Council has released a fresh image of how the Castlegate could look.

Stadium plans ‘stunning focal point’

“We welcome the council’s progress with their ambitious vision for the city centre and the regeneration of the beachfront which includes an integrated leisure arena with an ice rink and new stadium with community facilities,” he said, in the strongest indication yet the club will remain in the city.

“The scale of the vision and the pace at which it’s being taken forward signal the council’s real ambition for our city, which the club shares.

“The revitalisation of the beachfront, with a new stadium as a stunning focal point would, we believe, provide a compelling destination attracting locals and visitors.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack praised the stadium plans.

“It is exactly the type of forward-thinking which is required as Aberdeen rises to meet the challenges which the city was already facing before the pandemic.

“It will provide a real stimulus as we embark on the road to recovery from both the pandemic and the shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.

“The report and images released by the council today demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ recognising that the project is still at an early stage of development.

“The club will work with the council and its consultants to provide input as they develop a detailed business case and funding plan for the project.”

The beach as it is now, with the ballroom and leisure centre.

As well as a state-of-the-art stadium, the ambitious proposals also include a revamp of the Beach Ballroom, upgraded walking and cycling links with the city centre and new leisure facilities.

Of the three options presented to the city growth and resources committee earlier this year, council officials have selected the Rope Works concept as the most viable.

Plans inspired by heritage

Inspired by the city’s heritage as a shipbuilding hub, a number of footpaths in the shape of unwoven strands of rope would wind their way through the site, extending outwards from Beach Boulevard towards the ballroom.

Council officials have chosen the Rope Works concept as their preferred option.

Between the paths, space would also be created for other elements such as play areas, an outdoor “amphitheatre” and water features, while dunes would be reshaped to protect the development from Aberdeen’s notorious wind.

“The proposed Masterplan is centred around the re-imagining of the iconic Beach Ballroom, integrated with state-of-the-art sport and leisure facilities within an urban parkland setting, creating a transformational and vibrant new Beachfront destination for the city of Aberdeen,” a report to the committee reads.

If the committee votes to proceed, some work would begin immediately.

This would include resurfacing footways, replacing unsafe steps and corroded railings, installing new bins and improving accessibility.