ABERDEEN CITY AND SHIRE - UPDATE ON NEW DEVELOPMENTS
Aberdeen City and Shire is in the midst of an exciting period of development, transforming our hotel scene, increasing connectivity and expanding our leisure sector, making the region even more attractive for large conferences, meetings and incentive travellers.
• Spanning approximately 500 hectares, just north of Aberdeen City Centre, the Trump International Golf Links resort on the Menie Estate is now open. The first of two championship links golf courses opened in July 2012 and will be suitable for hosting major international events.
Plans have also been submitted for a traditional style club house to compliment the resort, whilst a temporary club house is due to be available from next year.
The resort will ultimately comprise a second 18-hole links golf course; an iconic 450-room 5* hotel set amidst an array of 950 luxury holiday homes; a conference centre, 36 golf villas and a residential village.
• Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open Championship winner and native of Aberdeen, has bought over Aspire Golf Centre, renamed The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre. The golf facility, which currently boasts a 9-hole course, covered driving range bays and short game practice areas, will become the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre with a dedicated approach to the development of junior golf. The new centre will become the base of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, launched by Lawrie back in 2001 with a mission to get as many young people involved in golf as possible.
• Ury Estate, near Stonehaven is set to become one of the most select golf residential-resort communities in the world as one of only 25 courses to be part of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club family. The multi-million-pound plans for the 1,500 acre estate will include the Nicklaus designed 18 hole championship course and eventually 150 homes.
• The City Garden Project is a planned £140million major development scheme for the existing Union Terrace Gardens, designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The plans include 10 different garden areas, a 5,000-seater outdoor amphitheatre, 500-seat theatre space, exhibition hall, cafes and double the amount of green space for visitors to enjoy. The project recently won the support of the public following a referendum in Aberdeen City and will now move towards the planning process.
• Plans for a £40m office block at the site of Aberdeen's historic Triple Kirks have been backed by councillors. The A-listed ruined facade, built in the 1800s, will be knocked down, but the spire will remain resulting in 72,600 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation.
• Gamola Golf has opened a new £1.5million centre in the heart of Aberdeen. The 4000sq ft complex has a golfing goods outlet on the ground floor with a demo area, whilst the first floor will have a bar, restaurant, and five golf simulators allowing for virtual access to Carnoustie and Turnberry amongst others opening in July.
• The Bon Accord Centre has undergone a £6million modernisation makeover. The project complements the recent £2million facelift given to the St Nicholas Centre and follows major refurbishment of the Bon Accord's central atrium last year. The opening of a cluster of top high street brands effectively creates a ‘fashion hub'.
• The Nick Nairn Cook School opened in May 2012 in the heart of the city centre and comprises two floors of ‘foodie heaven' with a hands-on school and shop. With a selection of full day courses and short cook offerings, it's sure to appeal to all foodies out there.
• Jamie Oliver's Aberdeen restaurant is set to open in early 2013. The Italian restaurant will be only his second in Scotland, occupying part of the former E&M department store building and will be "worth the wait".
• Aberdeen Football Club are looking to move from their home at Pittodrie to Loirston Loch in the near future. Plans for a new stadium, pitches and community facilities have been approved by councilors and it is hoped to have the new arena complete in 2014.
• Further to the opening of Aberdeen Sports Village, a multimillion pound development in 2009, the adjoining Aberdeen Aquatic Centre is set to open in 2014. The 50m pool will provide the opportunity for Aberdeen to host national and international competitions, and to play a full role in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and future events. The new Aquatics Centre will serve as far more than simply an elite swimmers' performance facility, it will also feature a Diving Pool, floating floor technology, and a health suite making it world class facility for all in the North East.
• In the heart of the city centre, the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel on Market Street has been granted planning permission for development work to lift its status to a four-star hotel, including new conference facilities with capacity for up to 300 delegates.
• A ground breaking ceremony for the 194 bedroom Courtyard by Marriott took place in early 2012. The new hotel will be situated adjacent to Aberdeen International Airport and is the first Marriott Hotel to be built to the new European design. The hotel is due to open in Spring 2013.
• Aberdeen Airport has outlined its 30 year master plan. Further to the £10million runway extension that was completed in 2011, highlights include a £100 million capital investment plan over the next two decades, major refurbishment of the terminal building, space for further runway expansion as demand requires it, and a 40% rise in passenger numbers by 2040.
• Lufthansa's thrice daily service to its Frankfurt launched on 30th October 2011 to coincide with the start of the Winter 2011/12 timetable. This popular service has resulted in 50% of Lufthansa's Scottish passengers travelling from Aberdeen, and with an onward connection to Houston launching in October 2012, this route gives travelers to and from Aberdeen even more flexibility.