A total of £40,000 has been approved at the Aberdeen City Council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee today to support the next phase of development work for the Greyhope Bay plans for a world class facility with marine science and conservation-related education opportunities.
The proposal, which is a charity, would also provide iconic visitor and community facilities between the current Aberdeen Harbour and the south harbour extension at Nigg Bay.
The committee agreed to award £20,000 each year for 2017-18 and 2018-19 to the Greyhope Bay Trust to support the next phase of development work.
It also agreed the recommendation that officers will continue to explore additional sources of funding to support project development costs and future capital works for the project.
A report before committee said the development phase is now at a critical juncture, with funding being secured for specific elements of the project including feasibility work, preliminary site investigations, outline planning, application, design development and detailed cost planning.
The report said £120,000 has been secured through fundraising to date from Heritage Lottery, Creative Scotland, The Wellcome Trust, Science in Culture, Visit Aberdeenshire (in kind). Nexen Petroleum and the Big Partnership are also sponsors of the Greyhope Bay initiative.
The report said the charity does not have revenue funding to support the management of the project going forward and the delivery of the business case and funding strategy, which includes priorities such as audience development and community engagement, branding / marketing and online content and fundraising.
Project development costs for the next two years are estimated to be £60,000 per year to enable capital funding applications to be submitted in line with the fund-raising strategy and to enable the project to move to full planning application. The report said Greyhope Bay is a potential £8.5 million – £10 million capital project.
The report said the project has a strong fit with a number of Aberdeen’s strategic and locality priorities including the Regional Economic Strategy, City Centre Masterplan, and Torry Locality Plan.
The report did say the proposals are not consistent with the existing Aberdeen Local Development Plan as the area is zoned as greenbelt and recognised as undeveloped coast, so the Greyhope Bay Trust would need to work through the Local Planning Authority’s usual processes to request a change to the Local Development Plan to accommodate the proposed development.