The first stage of transforming a historic city fortification into a world-class wildlife centre could be completed by next spring.
Greyhope Bay’s Dolphins in the Battery project needs another £150,000 to become a reality.
And with three organisations already backing the initiative to the tune of £42,000 in just a matter of weeks, the project director is confident the doors could be open to the dolphin-watching attraction within the next year.
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Two of the backers have been revealed as CNOOC International and Dragados SA UK & Ireland, with a third to be announced this month.
Fiona McIntyre said: “It’s incredible momentum for us, and it just shows that once you create a framework that people can see and picture themselves enjoying, it makes it much easier for individuals and organisations to get behind the project.”
The ambitious scheme was originally due to be built around the corner of Greyhope Road – closer to Girdle Ness Lighthouse – with a £10million price tag, but the decision was made to relocate to the historic battery last year after public consultation.
Instead of one large build, the project will now be created in phases, of which Dolphins in the Battery is the first.
In May, the city council approved plans for the first stage of the project, which will be built using old shipping containers, and will include outdoor decking, seating and other visitor facilities.
The battery, which has protected the city from maritime threats for decades, has fallen into a state of severe disrepair over the years.
The wider project will include a new visitor space, historic exhibits, a cafe, and a temporary viewing platform giving 360-degree views across Aberdeen Harbour for visitors to watch the city’s famous dolphins.
The development has been designed and developed by architect Gokay Devici, who is based at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture.
The team is hoping to raise the necessary cash for the project through different membership packages, with four tiers of payment available.
For more information, visit www.greyhopebay.com, a newly-launched website.