Major Improvements For Union Street

Aberdeen City Council is to carry out the first phase of regenerating Union Street as part of a £2 million package of wider improvements being brought forward under the City Centre Masterplan.

Today the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee approved a list of measures including deep cleaning, the repositioning and upgrading of street furniture, and the establishment of a specialist team to keep the area in top condition.

The Masterplan package also includes drawing up designs to enhance Union Terrace Gardens, Golden Square and public realm space on Schoolhill.

City council leader councillor Jenny Laing said: “Union Street remains very much the heart of our city and this commitment signals our determination to restore it to its full glory as part of the City Centre Masterplan.

“This initial phase of investment will make Union Street more attractive and accessible for residents, visitors, businesses and investors. It will also create a renewed sense of civic pride and have a lasting impact on the quality of the city centre as a whole.

“Many people who took part in the City Centre Masterplan consultation asked for Union Street to be cleaned up and improved as a priority. Today we are responding to that call by allocating resources for action on the ground.”

The Union Street programme, which is expected to get under way in the next few months, will include:

  • A deep clean of the Union Street streetscape and public realm, which will include a power wash of pavements, pedestrian areas and street furniture (including signs, bollards and benches), as well as doorways.
  • Upgrading/removing/fixing/painting street furniture, all bollards, railings, planters and benches.
  • A professional clean of St Nicholas Kirkyard façade (Smith’s Screen) and painting all railings and gates, highlighting the detail in gold leaf.
  • Setting up a dedicated team to clean, fix and paint any fixtures or features which fall into a poor state.
  • The purchase of two pavement scrubber machines and operators, to prevent a build-up of grime/staining on walked on surfaces following deep clean.
  • Resurfacing of the south pavement of Union Bridge.
  • The purchase of four additional street sweeping machines and appointment of operators.
  • Recruiting a building standards officer for one year.

In addition a survey will be carried out to ascertain the condition of buildings on Union Street.

The improvement programme will be led by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired, operator of the Business Improvement District.

Efforts will be made to encourage greater use of empty retail and other business units through delivery of a more attractive streetscape. Owners and occupiers will be asked to maintain their buildings and frontages to the highest standard.

City Council deputy leader Councillor Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Board, said: “The implementation of the City Centre Masterplan is very much a partnership effort and we hope everyone will embrace the possibilities created through the regeneration of Union Street.

“The council wants to maintain the majesty of Union Street for generations to come.”