A trial to try to create a cafe culture in the centre of Aberdeen is to start next month.
City centre roads Belmont Street, Little Belmont Street and Gaelic Lane are to be closed to almost all traffic from 11am to 6pm, throughout the week.
The move is being made by Aberdeen City Council following requests by local business owners, and there will be a series of events in the streets to encourage residents and visitors to go to the area.
The trial will last for an initial three months, but could become permanent if it proves successful.
The local authority’s deputy leader Marie Boulton said: “The cafe culture in the Belmont Street area will create a really nice family friendly atmosphere and will add to what is already a popular part of the city.
“There are cities in Scotland and others all over northern Europe with a similar climate to Aberdeen which have a strong and vibrant cafe culture – that’s what we’d love to help create here.”
The trial is being held following the city council’s adoption of plans to pedestrianise much of the heart Aberdeen, including Union Street and Upperkirkgate, as part of the city centre masterplan.
Jamie Hutcheon, director of Cocoa Ooze on Belmont Street, said: “It seems like we’ve really been missing out on an opportunity to develop the cafe culture in the city centre, so I strongly welcome this pilot which should attract additional numbers of people to what is the cultural heart of the city centre.
“Not only will this benefit our local business but also all the other businesses in the area.”
Angela Kozak, director of Cup Tea Salon in Little Belmont Street, said: “This idea is very welcome indeed. The Merchant Quarter and the Cup Tea Salon lie at the very centre of Aberdeen so it makes sense to capitalise on our heritage and make this the place to go for an alfresco social experience in a real cosmopolitan city.”
The only traffic allowed through at the time will be for drivers using two private parking areas. Four Blue Badge spaces are being relocated, three of which will be to new bays on Schoolhill and the other on Back Wynd.
The closure will be in place from Monday August 3, for the summer and autumn months.
Businesses in the streets wanting to take part in the trial have to apply for a licence from the council.