Aberdeen business leaders warn of damage to city if Union Terrace Gardens plans scrapped
ONE hundred business leaders in Aberdeen have sent a letter to the new Labour led administration on the city council, warning of the long term damage to the city if controversial plans for the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens are abandoned.
A crucial meeting of the full council is to be held on 22 August when councillors are expected to vote between a call by the majority Labour group on the coalition administration to scrap the project and a motion by the SNP opposition to press ahead with the £140 million transformational project.
The letter to councillors states: “To reject this project now would send out the signal that Aberdeen and its administration lack the ambition, vision and confidence to invest in their city. This project is within touching distance and to veto it now would deter future public and private investment in our city which has received little or no public investment in recent years. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee continue to attract major investment in regeneration. Aberdeen city needs its own ambitious, transformational, civic and cultural project that will help set us apart, making us a “must visit” destination and helping to restore civic pride.
“No other project has ever secured or is ever likely to secure again this level of corporate or philanthropic donations.”
Amongst those who have signed the letter are Martin Gilbert of Aberdeen Asset Management, Derek Provan, managing director of Aberdeen Airport, Sandy Clark of AMEC and Leo Koot of TAQA.
Ken McEwen, a spokesman for the business leaders, said: “We represent only a fraction of the businesses who support this project but we felt it was necessary to make a co-ordinated appeal to the councillors. We are urging them to think of the bigger picture here and not just politics. Aberdeen needs a bold, tangible statement of its current and future ambition to create a step-change, not simply small, incremental improvements.
“The City Garden Project will attract major investment and regeneration to the area, deliver long term investment plans, safe-guard and create jobs while also enhancing our quality of life. To pull the plug at this late stage is simply doing the city a disservice.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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