Plans drawn up to revamp neglected building at Aberdeen Park

Westburn House
Westburn House

A group dedicated to saving a historic park building hopes to present a business plan to Aberdeen City Council within weeks.

The Save Westburn House Action Group (SWHAG) hopes to turn the dilapidated building at Westburn Park into a community hub and cafe.

The facility would include a range of activities, projects and services aimed at improving health, social, cultural, educational, environmental and employment-related facilities for the community.

What the future plans for Westburn House could look like

It is also hoped it will bring more people into the park, both during the day and night all year round.

Gavin Esslemont, chairman of SWHAG, said: “We’ve been in constant conversations with the council to be able to take the building over.

“We’ve had some really positive talks and face-to-face meetings.

“We’re working on a business plan and hope to have it by the end of next month.

“We’ve carried out a community engagement exercise to see what people want and we got 300-plus responses on that survey.

“It’s a huge project. We’re trying to put the building back to the way it was.”

Since launching, the group has had a huge amount of support from members of the public and people have come forward to lend a hand.

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Work will be carried out in several phases, with a new roof installed first.

The longer the building is left roofless, the more damage will be caused to the structure.

Once the roof is fixed, work will move onto the second stage of getting the building back up to scratch.

Restoration, which will involve the bulk of the internal work, is expected to cost a significant sum, with a fundraising event planned for later on in the year.

Gavin added: “We’re trying not to spend money where we don’t have to. We’re not going to have full plans, including where sockets are going to go, but we will have an outline to discuss.

“A lot of professionals have come forward and we’re really lucky. If we’re going to do it, we want to do it right.

“We want to engage people into the building. It’s a great green space and Rosemount is very densely populated.

“We’re certainly trying to engage people into the park all year round.”

Gavin Esslemont at Westburn House

As part of its drive, campaign bosses also got Robert Gordon University students on board to come up with ways to stem the decline of the building.

They were tasked with developing a 3D model of the building which is hoped will assist with restoration plans when it gets to that stage.

Gavin added: “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. What they have done is essentially what we wanted to do.

“We’re going with the status quo, we’re not looking to deviate too radically.

“It’s quite a big building, and there’s a lot to do with it.”

For more information on Westburn House, or to get involved with the campaign, visit: