Plans for ca­ble car to soar above city

Giv­ing Aberdeen a ‘wow’ fac­tor

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RE­BECCA BUCHAN BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR

Vis­i­tors to Barcelona, San­torini and Madeira all flock to take in the views over the city by ca­ble car.

Sus­pended around 164ft from the ground, the cabs pass through the air and over the wa­ter on a jour­ney which lets the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence the city in a way like no other.

And un­der am­bi­tious plans it is hoped Aberdeen could soon be able to of­fer the same.

The ca­ble cars would be po­si­tioned at the beach, the Ci­tadel and Nigg Bay in a move which is hoped would not only give the Gran­ite City the “wow” fac­tor but also re­gen­er­ate the re­spec­tive ar­eas.

Ar­chi­tect Chris Smith said what started off as a bit of a “mad” idea to il­lus­trate how am­bi­tious Aberdeen’s re­nais­sance plans should be has proved to be “ex­tremely well re­ceived” since he pre­sented it to a group of 150 prom­i­nent busi­ness­men and women this week.

Last year a group of like-minded peo­ple, led by Aberdeen and Grampian Cham­ber of Com­merce (AGCC), set about com­ing up with an ar­ray of ideas to re­vi­talise Aberdeen. Some of these in­volve “small and quick changes” like find­ing ways to in­tro­duce out­door seat­ing in our city cen­tre. While oth­ers have been “bold, am­bi­tious and a bit mad”.

Mr Smith is an ar­chi­tect at David­son Smith Part­ner­ship, who are cur­rently work­ing on the Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Air­port ter­mi­nal trans­for­ma­tion.

He pre­sented his ca­ble car ideas, along­side a group of oth­ers, at the Van­guard con­fer­ence on Tues­day. He said since then he has been over­whelmed by the sup­port and ex­cited to see some gen­uine in­ter­est in the po­ten­tial project.

At the mo­ment the idea is merely a con­cept, how­ever the har­bour board, Aberdeen City Coun­cil, the AGCC and Aberdeen In­spired have all been con­sulted and say they are ex­cited by the idea.

Last night Mr Smith said: “This idea came about be­cause we’d heard that, although there will be many cruise tourists ar­riv­ing at the new har­bour who will head straight out to the Shire, there will also po­ten­tially be thou­sands of tourists who will come into the city cen­tre for the day.

“There are lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges in­volved in trans­port­ing hun­dreds if not thou­sands of peo­ple by bus into the city cen­tre, so we just won­dered if there were other al­ter­na­tives out there to avoid all these prob­lems, some­thing that might give tourists a bet­ter first im­pres­sion of the city, some­thing with a bit of wow fac­tor.”

This week lead­ing busi­ness­men told the con­fer­ence that in or­der for Aberdeen to rein­vent it­self we needed to find an iconic at­trac­tion like the V&A or the Kelpies to put us back on the map.

Mr Smith said the next step is to find some­one will­ing to in­vest and work with the Van­guard project to fund a fea­si­bil­ity study which would take it to the next level.

He added: “It was meant to be more of an ex­am­ple of the level of am­bi­tion we felt the city should be aim­ing for, but it turns out a lot of peo­ple think this idea ticks a lot of boxes. If that’s the case, the next step is to find some­one who’d be will­ing to work with the Van­guard to fund a fea­si­bil­ity study.”

The ca­ble car would run from the Castle­gate to Nigg Bay

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