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Green light for Aberdeen FC stadium

Aberdeen Football Club has been granted official planning permission for a new stadium and training complex at Kingsford, near Westhill.

Aberdeen City Council’s planning department has formally approved the £50 million development and the club plans to begin construction of the 20,000-capacity stadium in June.

Aberdeen FC has also announced that local companies will be awarded contracts for the construction of the community sports hub, training facilities and stadium which are expected to create around 150 jobs initially.

Following consent for the plans at Kingsford, the club is now issuing tenders for various elements of the first phase to deliver the community sports hub and training facilities.

The total value of phase one is in excess of £10 million and the first series of contracts is expected to be awarded in May with construction beginning on site in June.

Phase one will include the construction of the training pavilion, groundsman’s accommodation, three professional training pitches, two 3G pitches, a full size and a half size grass pitches, the latter being mainly for use by AFCCT.

A principal contractor will be appointed, along with sub-contractors to carry out the various work packages which include earthworks with ground remediation; roads and sewers; construction of the pavilion and groundsman’s accommodation; formation of the pitches; electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation work.

Raymond Edgar, project director, said:

These contract awards signal the beginning of a new era. After 18 years in the planning, we are finally able to start work on our vision for the Club, the community and the wider region. Some of the significant economic benefits promised will be realised immediately through these contracts, which will be awarded to local companies, wherever possible.

The North-east boasts a strong construction supply chain with the necessary skills, expertise and track-record for these works and it’s our intention to source local first. Where the expertise required is not offered locally, we will seek to find contractors from Scotland and then the rest of the UK. It may be, for example, that the principal contractor is a national firm but they will adopt the sub-contractors appointed by the Club.

Now that the Club has full consent to proceed with phase one, it will be re-contacting Community Councils and local community organisations to set up a liaison group.

The purpose of this will be to allow the local community to be involved in shaping the community sports facilities and to listen to and address local issues throughout construction and beyond.

It is anticipated that the group will comprise representatives from Westhill and Elrick Community Council, Kingswells Community Council, Westhill Sports Hub, AFC and AFCCT.

Edgar added:

We’ve been very clear about wanting to be a good neighbour and that starts with establishing regular and constructive dialogue with local residents. It is our aim to create a top-class sporting facility that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, brining significant socio-economic benefits to the local communities and the wider region.

The £50 million investment in co-located facilities will provide an unrivalled opportunity for the award-winning charity Aberdeen FC Community Trust to extend its reach across the whole of the North-east of Scotland, whilst sports and community activity groups within the local area will also benefit from having the new facilities on their doorstep.

The existing team of experts, who have been working on the plans throughout the planning process, are all Aberdeen-based and include Burness Paull, Fairhursts, Halliday Fraser Munro, TMC, McLeod & Aitken, and TUV-SUD.

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