An Aberdeen bar and hotel has revealed plans to expand in the new year.
Siberia Bar and Hotel on Belmont Street will soon take over the former Melt sandwich shop.
Owners Harding Ltd secured the deal this week – just days after a summit was held to discuss the future of the city centre.
Officials from businesses and local authorities gathered at the Douglas Hotel last week to share their ideas to reinvigorate the city centre within the next five years.
At the event, jewellers Jamieson and Carry announced a £1 million expansion in a huge boost for Union Street.
‘Aberdeen has a bright future’
Now bosses at Siberia are looking to the future, and have promised more updates on their plans for the four-storey unit after Christmas.
Remaining tight-lipped, Harding Ltd said they hope their project will bring “more vibrancy” to the Belmont Street area while creating new jobs.
Stuart McPhee, co-director of Siberia Bar and Hotel, said he was thrilled the proposals are taking shape – and that they will boost the city’s cafe culture.
He said: “It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s great to finally get the deal over the line.
“As a business, we think Aberdeen has a bright future, and local independent business has a big part to play in that.
“We are looking forward to developing the building, allowing its potential to be unlocked and engaging with the café culture investment in the Belmont Street area.”
‘Playing its part in this reinvention of Aberdeen’
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Hard on the heels of some really positive news on our high street last week, it is fantastic to see these expansion plans being presented by Siberia Bar and Hotel.
“This is a highly regarded independent business, that is always looking to be a ‘step ahead’ and in Stuart you have a lead who not only drives the business in-house but takes an interest in supporting the wider city centre cause. We wish them every success in moving forward.”
At the Union Street summit, it was revealed that around 25% of commercial properties are now vacant on what was the city’s busiest shopping destination.
Suggestions included a marketing campaign to turn the tide on some of the negative press Union Street has endured in the past.
Other ideas included different zones, such as a business district, focusing on getting people to work, live and visit the Granite Mile.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Russell Borthwick welcomed Siberia’s announcement tonight.
He said: “Cities are a finely balanced eco-system of retail, culture, hospitality, residential and offices with people at their heart.
“If any of them are out of balance, then the others are likely to fail. Even
before the crippling impact of the pandemic, UK town centres were already being hit hard by the perfect storm of out-of-town retailing and workplaces, the rise in online shopping and other changes in consumer behaviour.
“So I’m delighted that Harding Ltd is playing its part in this reinvention of Aberdeen by investing to expand its Belmont Street presence.”