New pictures show how progress on Union Terrace Gardens is taking shape ahead of its planned reopening later this year.
The much-loved city centre park – which dates back to the Victorian era – is undergoing a £28 million revamp as part of Aberdeen’s city centre masterplan.
Three pavilions are being built in a bid to encourage businesses into the gardens, while lighting is being improved and an events space created.
Mosaic-walled toilets, granite balustrades and arches under Union Terrace, which all date back to Victorian times, are being restored.
A key aspect of the project is ensuring the gardens are accessible, while a “grand” staircase from Rosemount Viaduct is being constructed – as well as life-saving barriers on Union Street.
Large panels currently shield much of the gardens from the public’s gaze, but we can now reveal the progress made on the upgrades in recent months.
Gardens ‘will look spectacular’
Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s masterplan lead, said: “We are now at this really exciting point where we have all the skeletons up and we are starting to flesh them out.
“I am really looking forward to seeing some of the finishing panels for the walkways and what have you, and I think it’s going to look really spectacular.
“Generations have tried to do Union Terrace Gardens and we are finally on the last leg of the journey to deliver it.”
She added: “We had a blank piece of paper when we went out to the public about what they felt was missing from the city centre and what they felt was important.
“That’s where we built up the scheme – it wasn’t a case of just saying we want to do something. We tried to build up an understanding of what we thought people needed in the city centre, and also a vision for what we wanted for the future.
“Many people used Union Terrace Gardens as their garden if they didn’t have one. A lot of young mums used to meet up because they felt it was a safe location where the children could run around.
“Because it was below street level they felt as though there was a cordon of safety for them.
“All these things helped shape our vision for Union Terrace Gardens, and I feel a huge responsibility on my shoulders that what is delivered by the end of this year is something that will absolutely enhance the city centre and will give us a place that can facilitate lots of different activities.”