A plan to bathe three tower blocks in “funky” lighting is back on track after being derailed by cuts to green energy subsidies.
Aberdeen City councillors have approved a fresh bid to illuminate the outside of flats in Torry as part of efforts to regenerate the area.
The £150,000 project was first approved last year – with costs due to be recouped by putting energy-saving solar panels on the roofs of Morven, Brimmond and Grampian courts in Balnagask.
But reductions to environmental incentives made the panels uneconomic and forced the contractor to pull the plug.
Now the authority has teamed up with Norfolk County Council-owned Norse Energy to revive the experiment.
Alongside the “feature lighting”, more energy-efficient lamps will be installed in communal areas.
It is hoped the savings generated will cover costs after seven years.
Any additional “profit” will subsequently be shared with the owners of the eight flats which have been sold under “right-to-buy” legislation.
Councillors were told that three of those landlords have not yet given permission for the project “despite significant efforts” to contact them.
But it concluded that the risk of reputational damage and possible legal challenge were outweighed by the benefits of pushing ahead.
Monitoring of energy costs is now starting – with installation ready to start at the end of the year.
Communities, housing and infrastructure convener, Councilor Neil Cooney said: “This is a fantastic pilot, and highlights the innovative ways of working and forward thinking of Aberdeen City Council.
“We are continuing to invest in our multi-storeys to help make them safe, secure and attractive places to live. I look forward to receiving feedback from our tenants and residents on this groundbreaking work.”
The scheme is similar to one in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow which resulted in its designers, Northern Light and Collective Architecture, becoming finalists in the nation-wide 2010 Lighting Design Awards.
Torry councillor Yvonne Allan said residents would be pleased that the injection of colour and light to the area was back on.
She added: “I think people will look forward to it. It will brighten up the area and give a new aspect to be talking about.
“It will definitely mark Torry out.”