Long-awaited reopening of Victorian park cancelled

Council blames 'supply-chain' issues but pictures show revamp remains far from finished.

Long-awaited reopening of Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen cancelled
This image was taken on Monday.

The planned reopening of a Victorian park in Aberdeen has been postponed at the 11th hour.

Union Terrace Gardens has been closed for refurbishment since 2019 and was due for a ‘soft’ reopening on Tuesday.

But the city council said “supply-chain issues” had forced it to scrap the plans.

The new-look gardens are due to feature three new pavilions, a walkway and revamped historic arches.

Photos taken by STV News on Monday, however, showed that a huge amount of work was yet to be completed, with groundwork and landscaping still ongoing.

An image of Union Terrace Gardens taken by STV News the day before the 'soft' reopening.STV News
An image of Union Terrace Gardens taken by STV News the day before the ‘soft’ reopening.

Aberdeen City Council chief executive Angela Scott said: “The decision not to proceed with today’s soft opening followed advice from our construction partner Balfour Beatty.

“The council is naturally disappointed that the event can’t go ahead but we look forward to the full opening in due course.” 

In March’s budget, Aberdeen City Council announced a ‘soft’ reopening by April 26 – just days before the local council elections on May 5.

The £28.3m job has been dogged by delays caused by Covid and adverse weather.

Graeme Dickie, director of operations at contractors Balfour Beatty, said: “External factors such as Covid-19 and more recently material supply issues continue to disrupt construction projects across the UK.

“As we move towards the anticipated completion of Union Terrace Gardens this summer we continue to work with our supply chain to minimise these effects.”