Evening Express

Plans for centre to help people find work in Aberdeen abandoned

Union Street, Aberdeen

Plans to open a one-stop shop to help people find work in the heart of Aberdeen have been abandoned.

Aberdeen City Council announced last year it was to press ahead with proposals for the Union Street hub.

The council had been working on the project with the Instant Neighbour charity, which hoped to base a shop there offering household items.

The local authority would then have sub-let part of the building to provide support, information and training to the city’s job seekers.

A report to members of the city growth and resources committee, which meets on Tuesday, said negotiations took place between the charity and the council until spring but added costs were a “significant issue”.

It said: “Partners’ ability to contribute to the funding package was limited which meant the council would be liable for significant costs, both in terms of paying the sub-lease (50% of the total rent/rates) and the associated ongoing utility costs.”

Negotiations with the landlord came to a head in the spring as other parties were interested in the premises.

With the charity unable to commit, and with a separate offer on the table for another city centre premises, officers did “not consider it feasible” for the council to continue lease negotiations, according to the report.

The city’s employability partnership continues to have an interest in establishing a city premises with more “cost-effective” solutions being explored such as at Skills Development Scotland’s premises on Union Street.