Union Terrace Gardens update

Progress is going well for the refurbishment of Union Terrace Gardens and it is on course to be reopened next year once plants and grass had had a chance to bed in, a committee heard today.

Aberdeen City Council’s capital programme committee was told works had been delayed due to Covid-19 supply chain and on-site issues however it has a provisional completion date of Winter 2021, with landscaping completing in 2022.

A report to committee said the time lost from the closure of the site due to the first lockdown in Spring 2020 means seasonal planting originally scheduled for early 2021 will have to wait until the next available weather window in early 2022 when the planting season resumes.

Committee convener Councillor Marie Boulton said: “It’s excellent to see work has been progressing despite the challenges which Covid-19 has put on the construction project.

“We look forward to seeing the finishing of the main works in the coming months and then the start of the planting next Spring.

“The revamped Union Terrace Gardens will be a fantastic and improved place to visit with wheelchair accessibility and additional features for everyone to enjoy.”

The report to committee said construction of all three pavilions – which can be used as café, restaurant, or cultural spaces, is now at an advanced stage. The erection of all building foundations and structural steelwork is complete, with curtain glazing and external cladding works on-going.

Formal marketing operations went live in Spring 2021 and there has been positive interest in all pavilions. Viewing opportunities for prospective tenants commenced in August 2021.

As part of the construction works, the strengthening of the existing jack arches along Union Terrace is now complete.

Foundation works for all three walkways are complete, with structural and secondary steel work being prepared, ready for external feature cladding. Temporary rail possessions from Network Rail were in place in early August 2021 to facilitate the nightshift lifting of walkway steel structure over the Denburn railway lines into position within the gardens.

The pre-fabricated walkway steelwork from Union Street leading into the gardens, sweeping past the Union Street pavilion and landing close to the Burns Pavilion, is now in place. Cladding works to all three walkways is expected to be complete in Autumn/Winter 2021.

The report said the site hoarding will remain in place until practical completion although the exact layout will continue to be assessed in order to allow better access around the surrounding roads and footways.