Report reignites row over Aberdeen garden project

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A ROW over Aberdeen’s City Garden Project was reignited yesterday following the publication of the business case for a finance scheme to pay for it.

The document claims that the project will be part of a major regeneration of the city centre which will create 8,000 jobs and act as the “catalyst for future global investment in the city”.

However, the city council’s ruling Labour Group claimed the lengthy document only served to strengthen its resolve to press for the scheme to be scrapped at a council meeting in August.

The document revealed a tax incremental finance scheme would involve the council paying back a £92 million loan to pay for the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens and four other large projects through increased income from business rates.

Callum McCaig, leader of the SNP group on the council, said the “positive” report reinforced the need for the city garden project and the wider regeneration of the city centre.

He said: “It weakens the case against the city garden project which has been largely focused on the affordability or otherwise of the scheme and makes it clear that the scheme is affordable and will be repaid in good time.”

However, Willie Young, secretary of the Labour Group, said the city could not afford to invest in the scheme.