£35m regeneration programme brings ‘people power’ to Aberdeen

Shaping Middlefield 2
Council leader Jenny Laing (centre) during the ‘Shaping Middlefield’ public engagement event

A new £35 million regeneration project devised by residents is to transform one of Aberdeen’s most deprived areas.

The ‘Shaping Middlefield’ blueprint, which is informing the regeneration of the city’s Middlefield and Northfield areas, has seen major decision-making devolved to the local community and residents being consulted on flagship developments in their area.

Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing hailed “people power” for driving the planned transformation.

Councillor Laing said: “This is people power in action. When we set aside the funding for this core regeneration project we decided to engage with local residents to see what they really wanted.

“So, the programme of change that we will unveil this week is the culmination of months and months of hard work by the people who live in the community and the delivery of the projects that they wanted to see.”

Shaping MiddlefieldThe ‘Shaping Middlefield’ project was officially unveiled at a public engagement event last week.

The ‘people power’ model is also being used in Tillydrone, Torry and Seaton – where money has been allocated to residents for them to decide where to spend it.

Councillor Laing added: “This new approach to community engagement has empowered citizens to make decisions on where and how money will be spent in their area – and offers our residents the chance to influence their communities for the better.

“From new housing developments to refurbishment works and public spaces – residents in Aberdeen now have the opportunity to create a vision for their home, community and the city.

“This new model goes to the very heart of the ideals of democracy, where decisions are made by the people, for the people.”

She went on: “We are reaching out directly to the communities and allowing them to be the main drivers of economic, cultural and infrastructural change in their areas.

“The result has been a renewed interest and passion for community life and some very dynamic and exciting prospects for regeneration in our city.”

The agreed investment programme will create new community facilities as well as improving the infrastructure and creating open spaces with some of the work already underway or near completion.

Aberdeen City Council is building 185 new council houses at the Manor Walk and Smithfield sites which are high quality, sustainable, energy efficient and incorporates a degree of flexibility to meet the future needs of tenants.

Alongside this are a series of community projects including the £2.6 million refurbishment and extension Lord Provost Henry E Rae Community Centre, a new purpose-built games area, new play park, and the Aberdeen Treasure Hub which will be the main location for the city’s collections of historical objects and artworks while not on public display.

Proposals are also in place to create a new watercourse to help dispel localised flooding and encourage future biodiversity as well as five new ponds, two of which will be below Henry E Rae centre and the rest near the Manor Walk development. Pathways will also be built along the new watercourse.

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