Hopes are high that a wildlife-spotting centre with spectacular views of Aberdeen harbour’s famous dolphin population will open next summer, after years of planning.
The ambitious Greyhope Bay project on the Torry side of the Granite City’s harbour mouth was first revealed to the north-east public in 2016, along with a £10 million price tag.
The original plan was to create one major development from scratch at Girdle Ness Lighthouse, however following public consultation the decision was made to relocate the project to the historic Torry Battery, and create it in phases instead.
And thanks to major support from the public, corporate sponsorships and the council, the initial phase of the development, Dolphins at the Bay, is on track to welcome its first visitors by summer 2020.
The first part of the project will create a glass-fronted viewing platform at the Torry Battery, and a centre from which visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Granite City and its coastline, as well as celebrate the heritage of the historic site.
The cost of the initial section of development is around £165,000, and managing director of the Greyhope Bay team Fiona McIntyre said the end is now in sight.
So far, more than £116,000 has been raised for the cause.
She said: “2019 has been an amazing year for the Greyhope Bay project, and not just for how much money we’ve raised, but how much community engagement there has been.
“It’s really inspired a proper community around the project, people that are not just interested in the build but also our overall message of making a real change to help the environment.
“We’ve still got a gap to close, but we still strongly believe we will be on the ground in April, and open in the summer time.”
Ms McIntyre said it feels “a bit overwhelming, but also exciting” that her ambitions for Greyhope Bay could soon be realised.
She added: “There’s now a sense of reality to it.
“Before, it was really just a dream, but now it really is something we’re about to deliver, and that’s all because of this fantastic community that has gathered around the project.
“We’re just so excited to see everyone’s hard work paying off.”
To find out more or to support the project visit www.greyhopebay.com.