Detailed designs to be drawn up for several projects to help transform the beach area

Detailed businesses cases for projects designed to help to revitalise the beach area into a new waterfront destination are to be moved to the next stage after approval was given at yesterday’s meeting of the city growth and resources committee.

The projects within the Beach Masterplan includes significant works at the Beach Ballroom creating an enhanced public realm setting with an integrated football stadium and leisure complex. This people-focussed environment would be inclusive for all, creating a real community asset and bringing the wow factor back to the beachfront, and would also include a major refurbishment for the Ballroom.

The committee also requested plans for include landscaping, public realm, playpark and integrated water features at the Queens Links, sports and leisure facilities for the Broadhill area, an improved promenade, and provision of an energy centre.

Aberdeen City Council city growth and resources convener Councillor Ryan Houghton said: “The proposals for the beach would make it a destination once again. Transforming it through significant investment providing new facilities and creating a space where city residents and visitors are drawn to.

“We know how loved and important the beach area is and we want it to be a big part of Aberdeen continuing to be a vibrant place to live, work, and visit.

“It was fantastic the designs and business cases for the proposals were all approved yesterday and we are looking forward to committee in November to review the proposals in detail and move the projects forward.”

The report to committee emphasised the importance of the re-imagined ballroom, including a desire to return it to its former glory when it was known as the ‘People’s Ballroom’ recognising its heritage and historic significance whilst equipping it for the future as a modern leisure/ hospitality and events venue. This would include removing the current false ceiling to put it back to the full height of the dome and a bar with a seating area looking out to the seafront.

The report said there is potential to share or link facilities associated with a new football stadium and leisure facilities would support joint funding and realise economies of scale. It said there is a desire for a dynamic waterfront making the most of the beach boulevard including support facilities such as changing accommodation/beach huts and a pier, while at the same time having a high quality public realm.

The report said it a review would be carried out on previous studies for potential leisure activities and how this could be configured within the Beach Masterplan and should consider catering for all income groups that may visit the beachfront.

Access and connectivity between the beachfront and the city centre is another important aspect of the work, as is infrastructure including traffic management that reduces the impact of the existing road network to promote alternative forms of travel, including cycling. There should also be co-ordination with potential flood/sea defence works planned for the area, the report said.

Progress on all of the projects is to be given in a report to a meeting of city growth and resources committee on 3 November 2021.

The report to committee said a public consultation was held and feedback for the beach area included the need for improved maintenance and cleanliness, additional lighting along the lower promenade, street art on the stairways and tunnels, sculptures, painting of railings, improve pavement surface, creation of a cycleway along the back of the road, creation of a bay for a multitude of watersports and include a pier, additional signage, signage to connect the beach and city centre, ideas around visitor attractions, upgrade on the playpark on the Queens Links, additional accessibility, a clubhouse for recognised clubs and users including changing rooms and showers, and options for relocating users of the Kings Links cricket pitch.

The report to committee with all the proposals is item 11.5 at Agenda for City Growth and Resources Committee on Wednesday, 25th August, 2021, 2.00 pm (aberdeencity.gov.uk).