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Union Terrace Gardens

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Guest Tam o' Shantie
The Belmont

Look, they really do make the best kebabs in town - but to commend their contributions to the local art scene is just ridiculous.

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Peacock didn't fail to make a case for the cultural and economic benefits effectively. In fact they made such a robust case that they raised 9.5 million from competitive pots of public funding (arts,local authority and enterprise) within a year. The rest was to be raised via a capital fundraising campaign but with over 70% of the money for the centre in place this was on track and ready to go.

The Council have not "rowed back" on their support for the scheme they still have the 3 million committed to the project as they have since it was announced. However they feel they have to investigate Sir Ian's scheme so as not to be looking like they are turning down 50million.

Of course the City Council have to ensure value for money so a project like Peacock's that will bring in 5 million per year (according to an independent economic assessment) offers great value - giving a return on investment into the local economy in year one.

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I think you are beyond convincing by the sounds of things if you don't like art and you don't see any benefit to it for anyone bar a few. It is understandable that you would rather see what the other option is. I obviously feel very strongly the other way about this issue and have calmed myself down a bit now.

I would like to make a comparison before I leave you alone though Raven. Although it took as much effort for it to happen, expensive sport facilities have the same sort of minority interest as arts but not the same type of objection, why spend so much money and give away so much land for such a few people to benefit? I don't hold this view about a sporting centre of excellence for the area, I believe it to be a great thing, especially for kids giving them something to aspire to. The same applies for the arts. Top class facilities to develop both our youth and the talent of all age groups.

I think youth development is justification enough for the centre to go ahead. Plus the outside space will ultimately be more useable and functional for outside events that everyone can enjoy, and will probably be organised via the centre.

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It's not the only reason. There's a distinct lack of will on the part of anyone outwith the artistic community in Aberdeen (ie, those who already use the facilities as they are now) to make it happen. Whether it's because Peacock have failed to make their case for the cultural and economic benefits effectively, or if it's because they've wildly overestimated the level of support and interest in their scheme and are relying on desperate tactics to keep their hopes alive, I can't tell. Either way, the council have to ensure value for money for the taxpayer, which is why they've rowed back on their support for the scheme.

As has been said, Dave, all the public money was in place, as was planning permission everything was set to go before Wood stuck his 50 million oar in. The had definitelly not failed to make their case. And as of yet, the council have not rowed back their support, the project has been placed in hiatus while Wood's scheme is being investigated.

There was a great deal of support for this project outside the Artistic community and there still is.

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I've not had any personal interest in Lucky Rathen's house ever. I think it should be turned into PROFIT.

Dave Officer's blog was really pleasant to read. Excellent stuff.

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'City Square Project' revealed -

_46833968_union_terrace_gardens_466282.jpg

The plan for a new heart of Aberdeen is being called the City Square Project, it has been announced.

A public consultation on the scheme for Union Terrace Gardens it to be launched on 11 January.

Millionaire businessman Sir Ian Wood has pledged 50m of his own money towards the scheme.

New images of what the project, raising the level of Union Terrace Gardens, could eventually look like have also been released.

The new name is supported by the themes "This Time. This Place. This Generation".

A website has also been launched at The City Square Project Aberdeen This Time, This Place, This generation The City Square Project

The proposals are being led by development body Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef).

'Inspiring architecture'

Acsef chairman Tom Smith said: "The region's city centre needs a vibrant, cultural civic space and gardens in the heart of the city.

"Acsef wants to deliver a new space of 21st Century design with inspiring landscape architecture and greenery that truly reflects Aberdeen City and Shire's success, prosperity and international status.

"We are determined to deliver this for the generation that will come after us. In fact we have a duty to do this for our children and their children."

It could cost between 110m and 140m to construct the raised gardens and full covering over the Denburn dual carriageway.

Sir Ian is chairman of the multi-million pound energy services firm, John Wood Group.

BBC News - Major new heart of Aberdeen named City Square Project

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Looks there's millions to be made in filling holes these days. Change of profession for me I thinks.

I'm gonna put an ad oot on craigslist, "Fit like? I'm Robert Knight and I fill holes for a living. I'm currently looking for work in the Aberdeen area. For a reasonable price I'll happily fill any hole, at any time".

I should get a few clients out of that.

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That picture is really not inspiring me... can someone explain where this inspirational architecture is? Or is it all underground for you to see as you drive your car through it?

The Peacock design is elegant.

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It looks like the planet in the episode of Star Trek The Next Generation where Wesley Crusher is throwing a ball about with some locals and he accidentally smashes a greenhouse and gets sentenced to death and Picard has to mull over whether to let him be killed or to break the prime directive and interfere with their strange cultures.

He should have just let him be killed, Wesley Crusher was always a toodle.

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That's such a shite episode. "Oh sorry Wesley, you stepped on a cabbage, we'd better fetch a firing squad or the King of the cabbages will get cross".

Picard should have just said, "Look boys, you're good at keepy-ups and everything and I respect you for that but... that annoying wee drip is part of my crew and if you try oni shite wi him I'll be forced to blow up your whole shitty planet".

Returning to the point, the whole design looks like a large, flattish bit of ground.

Anyway, what they gonna call this area. Union Square? Hmm.

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Why do corporations insist on adding terrible "motivational" messages along with an idea? "This time, this place, mostly your money, I know I've got more than all of you put together but come on, cough up the rest you stingy cunts."

It looks so sterile and really, what is going to happen in the space other than fights? I'm pretty sure after it totally wipes out all of our cash we won't be able to afford whatever is going to go on there, I expect by this point they'll be taxing you to walk there to see the "free concert".

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I think most people on here are totally against the mass destruction

of Union Terrace Gardens & realise that the council are "stuck in the

headlights of a 50million offer" from Wood, so like Alan Cynic said its time to "get up, stand up, stand up for your rights". Its time to voice your opinion against this STUPID idea b4 its too late.

The option via Peacocks is far & away better in every aspect even down to Finance. If Wood wants to do something constructive why not plough his dosh into a special square in Golden Square or down in the Green.

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The option via Peacocks is far & away better in every aspect even down to Finance. If Wood wants to do something constructive why not plough his dosh into a special square in Golden Square or down in the Green.

In every aspect?

The Peacock plan does nothing about the Denburn dual carriageway and train line which is hardly attractive as it is. It does very little to open up the gardens, and certainly won't be 'beneficial for all' - it's a vanity project for the minority to enjoy, that much is certain.

The Peacock plan also does very little about the issue of maintainence - ACC hasn't got the money right now to maintain the gardens properly, and this plan presumably will drastically cut down on expenditure needed to make it attractive. It'll also make the gardens much more accessible - let's face it, they're hardly attractive in their current state.

It's also something big that says "boom" - and in these times, big projects are much more significant than a building here and a building there. Just like in Berlin in the 1990's - the Potsdamer Platz construction work was seen as a symbol for the regeneration of an entire city.

Match the Peacock development with a covering of the train line and dual carriageway and it would be a winner.

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Hi all, these two emails came through yesterday, the top one is about getting involved

to save this fantastic project..............

The second one is about the reality of the situation........all is not lost but needs those

of you who care to get active with emails.

Dear all,

Thank you all for all your support this year on Peacock's plans for a new arts centre in Union Terrace Gardens.

We are having a Campaign get together on Wednesday night (16th December) at 6pm at Peacock.

Really hope you can make it!

Sorry once more for the short notice however, the public consultation will be officially launched on the 11th January and since this will roll around very quickly we wanted to get people together before the Christmas break up.

There's lots of things to do going forward and we would really appreciate your support.

Hope you can join us for this pre-Christmas get-together.

In the meantime please take a look at the below. It's about the public consultation. It would be great if you could take two minutes to help with this.

Please do pass on to anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks as ever for your support. Together we can do this!

Elly

Dear all,

PEACOCK - CONSIDER IT!

It has just been confirmed that Peacock's scheme for a new arts centre in Union Terrace Gardens will NOT be included in the Public Consultation on the future of the Gardens (to be launched on Jan 11th). As you can imagine we are very disappointed as we wanted to be part of a fair, open and inclusive process of consultation.

We believe that the people of Aberdeen have the right to make sure the consultation process on their public space is as unbiased and open minded as possible.

The consultation has been commissioned by ACSEF (Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future) who are championing Sir Ian's civic square plans. It is being paid for with public money but will only be consulting on Sir Ian's scheme to concrete over the gardens at the cost of around 70 million to the public purse.

We believe that the public MUST get the chance to be informed, express their opinions or indeed show their support for other options for Union Terrace Gardens and that therefore the consultation should include Peacock's proposals.

Peacock's project has full planning permission, is fully costed and has secured 75% funding. It was ready to break ground this year with doors opening to the public in 2011. Over 1million of public money has been spent to date on its development.

If you feel the remit of the consultation should also include Peacock's scheme you can help by getting in touch with the following influential people:

Council Leader John Stewart:

jdstewart@aberdeencity.gov.uk

ACC Chief Executive Sue Bruce:

suebruce@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Maggie McGinlay: margaret.mcginlay@scotent.co.uk

and your own Councillor who you can find at

WriteToThem - Email or fax your Councillor, MP, MEP, MSP or Welsh, NI, London Assembly Member for free

Thanks in advance to our friends and fellow supporters. We have until January 11th to make this happen and have the Council and Scottish Enterprise widen the remit of the public consultation.

Good Luck!

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One question.

How much money have Peacock raised so far towards the 3 million or so that they need to find?

eh? i don't understand why you're asking that question. they've already said how much has been raised and they're kinda restricted in their fundraising activities just now due to the uncertainty surrounding the development.

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One question.

How much money have Peacock raised so far towards the 3 million or so that they need to find?

Peacock's project has full planning permission, is fully costed and has secured 75% funding. It was ready to break ground this year with doors opening to the public in 2011. Over 1million of public money has been spent to date on its development.

So 75% of 3 million would be.... (drum roll)... 2.25 million. Now having to spend .75 million of the public's money or 50 million, what is the best?

Also i noticed that they have rejected the plan of having the coffee hut in Albyn Place gardens with the local councillor Martin Greig saying:

people complain to me that we are losing our last remaining green spaces in the city and the city centre is no exception. The quality of life in the city centre is vital for the well-being of the whole city.

Taken from the report in the Evening Express page 19 15th Dec 2009.

Now does this mean that as he has said that he will be voting against the Civic Square plan due to losing a green space?

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ok, it's now time to get positive and keep the gardens. peacock will not be featuring as part of the consulation or in the civic square plan, acsef do not want that option put to the people of aberdeen so if you want to keep the gardens the only option will be to say no to the civic square plan in the public consultation(being run by acsef's pr company).

some things to remember when the public consultation starts:

"Raising the gardens" means destroying the gardens.

We will end up with a 6 acre concrete square with token greenery in the corners. the trees will be much much smaller than currently in the gardens as mature tree with large root systems aren't particularly compatible with car park roofs.

They can promise you whatever you want to get you to say yes in the public consultation as they have no actual plans:

"I want to see a river of ice cream and a 30ft statue of a naked Cheryl Cole"

"you got it, so if we put that in the square would you be in favour of this development?"

"YEA!"

but none of it would actually get past the planning stage. so we'll get shops and car park instead. no matter what they offer we have to say no. or lose the gardens.

Acsef are spending public money by the bucket load on this consultation while the council approves 23 million of cuts. Sir Ian Woods condition for his 50 million is that ACC matches it, at the least, but the construction of the square is set at 140 million with nothing in it. Once they add in the cost of ice rinks, rollercoasters, shops, car park, slabs, bonzai greenery and water feature who knows what it will cost. I'm pretty sure ACC can't afford it though.

It will be windy as hell.

We'll no longer get those big starling displays in winter as they won't have access to their roost under union bridge.

This will be everywhere after January 11th and if you want to save the gardens we need to start speaking to people and making them aware of what can be lost. even if you don't want peacock to build there but want the gardens to stay for generations to come, start speaking to folk. it doesn't have to be on the streets but just at work, in the pub or with your friends.

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