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Five developments in Aberdeen that should finally be finished in 2022

Union Terrace Gardens. Picture by Wullie Marr.
Union Terrace Gardens. Picture by Wullie Marr.

In recent years developments across Aberdeen City have been taking shape, from improving historical sites and making them more accessible to introducing new initiatives.

People travelling into Aberdeen either by road or by rail will have seen firsthand some of the many changes happening in the city the moment they arrive.

Contractors have been working on a series of high-profile developments after experiencing lengthy delays due to the pandemic.

But the end is in sight – with these five key developments all due to be finished this year.

Haudagain Roundabout

Works have been carried out on the notorious Aberdeen roundabout since 2017. Picture by Chris Sumner

Once named the UK’s worst roundabout, a multi-million-pound project has been under way at the Haudagain since 2017.

The roundabout is the scene of a congestion blackspot where the A92 Stonehaven to Blackdog and A96 Aberdeen to Inverness roads meet.

However, the completion date for the £18 million project has been changed six times since plans first emerged, with the pandemic pushing it back by six months.

Adverse weather from Storm Arwen and Storm Barra as well as a mains gas leak have also delayed the project from being completed.

Transport Minister Graeme Dey confirmed in December that works on the roundabout are to be completed by March this year.

Aberdeen Railway Station

Artist impression showing plans for the redevelopment of Aberdeen Train Station.

Works to enhance the station, which has sat in the heart of the city for more than 150 years, began in 2020.

The £8m project aims to improve the quality and variety of the shops and eateries surrounding the station, with glass-fronted restaurants in the concourse.

Works are also being carried out on the ticket office, first class lounge, and taxi rank and bicycle storage areas.

The station entrance is being upgraded, better connecting the building to Union Square and the wider city centre.

Originally, the redevelopment of the A-listed building had been expected to take around a year to complete, however, it is now due to be finished in 2022.

Union Terrace Gardens

Work being carried out in the Victorian park in 2020. Picture by Chris Sumner.

The £28.3m regeneration of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) started in August 2019.

Balfour Beatty has been working on transforming the park as part of Aberdeen City Council’s flagship City Centre Masterplan.

Work is under way to make the Victorian park more accessible and inclusive while improving its amenities and activities.

There are new accessible routes into the gardens sloping down from street level, as well as a new grand staircase leading down from Rosemount Viaduct.

Repairs have been made to the balustrades and arches along Union Terrace and pavillions have been built to be used as cultural spaces, cafes or restaurants.

However, the pandemic delayed landscaping work meaning that the refurbished UTG will not be unveiled to the public until this year.

Last year’s lockdown meant that plants and grass could not be planted in the springtime, and the gardens will only reopen once they have had a chance to bed in.

The white hoardings surrounding the site are expected to stay up in the meantime.

Greyhope Bay

An artist’s impression of the interior of the Greyhope Bay cafe and dolphin viewing centre coming to Torry Battery. Image created by Polka Design Studio.

Torry Battery is thought to be one of the country’s best dolphin watching spots and will soon be home to the Greyhope Bay Centre.

The project was founded in late 2016 by marine biologist Fiona McIntyre who hopes the first phase of the project will be delivered early this year.

Work to build the visitor attraction overlooking Aberdeen Harbour began in September 2021.

In November, two 40ft shipping containers were lowered into place to form the structure of the centre. Now they are in place work will continue on the internal and external fit.

When completed there will be a visitor centre, viewing platform, café and education and community space.

As well as protecting Torry Battery’s position as a significant environmental and historical site, the new centre is expected to bring more people to the area.

Harbour Expansion

Aberdeen South Harbour expansion. Picture by Kath Flannery.

The £350m expansion of the Aberdeen Harbour is expected to be completed by October 2022 following months of delays.

Work to make a new deeper and larger harbour is the largest marine infrastructure project in the UK.

The project, which will allow more, and larger, vessels to dock in the city, was delayed due to the pandemic.

In June 2020, it was dealt a further blow when the main contractor, Spanish-owned Dragados UK, pulled out – leaving nearly a third of the work undone.

Work was once again paused on the harbour in September 2021 after a man was injured while working on the expansion.

The development was put on hold while the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident with the help of the police.

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