Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood rules out compromise over Aberdeen’s City Garden design
Business boss in plea over plans
BILLIONAIRE Sir Ian Wood today made a final plea for support over the plan to raise Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens to street level.
In a letter to council leader Barney Crockett, the oil tycoon said a further £15 million of private cash would be found for the City Garden Project.
Sir Ian, who has offered £50m of his own money, said he was writing to ensure the Wood Family Trust’s views were “clearly understood” ahead of an “extraordinarily important decision for the future of our city”.
He also urged Cllr Crockett to honour a promise not to be a “dog in a manger” if the £140m scheme did get the go-ahead when councillors decide its fate on August 22.
In his letter he revealed that architects had been asked to look at a compromise design for Union Terrace Gardens. It followed a request from depute council leader Marie Boulton, who is set to present an alternative vision for UTG to the council on August 22.
However, Sir Ian said designers didn’t see “any reasonable compromise” that could match the greenery and accessibility promised by the City Garden Project.
Cllr Crockett said he shared the architects’ views that a compromise wouldn’t work. He said: “I was never optimistic and we appreciate Sir Ian telling us that.”
However, Cllr Crockett said he didn’t share the tycoon’s confidence about the case for borrowing £92m. He said: “Labour’s position has been consistent throughout – the business case has never stacked up.”
Cllr Crockett said he remained “confident” councillors would vote to abandon the CGP next week.