Plans for a new Aberdeen Market have been approved in a £50 million gambit to transform the city centre.
Construction is now poised to begin on the major new destination within the coming months.
The proposals, which have been years in the making, went before members of the planning committee today.
The milestone moment came more than a year after the downtrodden former market building was reduced to rubble.
Taking inspiration from trendy street food spots elsewhere, the new Aberdeen Market will have space for 10 food and drink outlets – and a bar run by local brewers Fierce Beer.
There are hopes that the “really cool space” will lead the “renaissance” of the struggling city centre.
New Aberdeen Market approved after design changes ‘shaped by public’
Previous plans for the site were approved last May.
But these were later revised, with the meeting hearing that “public feedback” had shaped the new designs.
Now, a large canopy originally envisaged to stretch across The Green will be removed – after residents said they quite liked the open space available there following the demolition of the old market.
That area will now be used to host everything from farmers markets to screenings of sports tournaments such as Wimbledon or big football matches.
It was a change operator McGinty’s Group lobbied for.
And the concrete frontage of the old BHS building facing Union Street will no longer be retained, making way for a glass structure.
There were some questions over a walkway used to link the front of the building to the new market itself on The Green.
Officers reassured councillors that the small bridge over the East Green wouldn’t need to be covered.
Councillors unanimously voted to rubber-stamp the revised scheme, which is ultimately expected to employ 200 people.
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New Aberdeen Market approved despite historians’ concerns
This summer, historians raised concerns that the new design would stand in stark contrast to surrounding buildings on Union Street.
Council planning chiefs acknowledged the building would contrast with its neighbours.
But they said that would help to “identify it as a modern addition” amongst its more traditional surroundings.
They hailed the scheme as a “catalyst for city centre regeneration”, and it’s hoped the site will be open by 2025.
New market will bring flavour of London landmark to the north-east
Russell Borthwick, the chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said the market will help the city “move into the 21st century”.
He added: “We’ll get a really cool space that will be a modern-day version of Borough Market in London.
“Somewhere where our local artisan food and drink producers can find an audience.
“A place for independent bars, café’s and restaurants to cut their teeth, all coordinated by an operator that knows and cares about Aberdeen.”
You can see the plans here.
Read more about the project:
- We revealed the attraction will have 10 food outlets and a bar run by Fierce
- Local hospitality leaders McGinty’s Group confirmed as operators
- Our food and drink writer Karla Sinclair on the 10 units she would like to see open up at the now approved Aberdeen Market