Creative lighting strategy agreed for Aberdeen

A creative lighting strategy and implementation plan was approved today by Aberdeen City Council’s Finance, Policy and Resources Committee (FP&R).

Aberdeen in Colour, a City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project, aims to help create a heart for a "global city" by illuminating the streetscape, landmarks, waterfronts and civic spaces in novel ways to add character and identity at night.

The strategy and implementation plan was drawn up by award-winning lighting design consultancy Steensen Varming.

As well as containing general design guidelines, it proposes individual schemes for the Castlegate; Union Street; Belmont Street; Langstane Place; Correction Wynd; Golden Square; Wellington and Victoria Bridges; the banks of the River Dee; St Nicholas Kirk; The Green; Donald’s Way; and Adelphi Lane.

The five-year implementation plan for the dozen schemes has been costed at £6.5 million.

The Committee also instructed officers to initiate action to implement Aberdeen in Colour through the development of businesses cases, including working with partners to explore potential funding streams, and to report to future meetings.

Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader and convener of the Finance, Policy and Resources committee, said: “The City Centre Masterplan makes clear that in order to compete on a global stage Aberdeen needs to be welcoming and exciting whatever time of day or year.

“Aberdeen in Colour describes how we might continue to showcase Aberdeen’s unique streetscape and architecture during the hours of darkness as well as adding new interest and better connecting the city centre.

“The proposals have been thoroughly costed, which will help ensure we are satisfying best value requirements when assessing individual projects that come forward.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, the Council’s CCMP spokesperson, said: “Aberdeen in Colour can transform the city’s heart in so many different ways – by improving wayfinding, increasing safety and inclusion, and complementing cultural events.”

Aberdeen Inspired, the banner under which the Business Improvement District operates, is poised to commit £118,000 to Aberdeen in Colour.

A public survey had identified as priorities:

• Illuminating iconic architecture

• Engaging public spaces at night

• Surprising lighting features

• Illuminating bridges

• Activating laneways

• Seasonal responsive lighting

The strategy promotes energy efficient lighting and takes account of the impact on amenity and the city’s skyline.

Work, led by Aberdeen Inspired, has already taken place to bring forward a winter seasonal lighting scheme at The Green, also designed by Steensen Varming, which was responsible for lighting Sydney Opera House.