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Plans to Renovate King’s Quarter Fall Through

Business School Continues Search for New Home After Multi-Million Pound Project Scrapped

By Clive Davies

Photo credit: University of Aberdeen

The University Court confirmed yesterday that plans to revitalize King’s Quarter will not go ahead, citing problems that have arisen since the proposals were brought forward in 2019, including the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and supply chain problems.

The plans would have seen the University’s Business School relocated from its current home in the MacRobert Building to the currently dormant Johnston Halls, which was due to undergo major renovations as part of the project.

The plans, which had already been given the go-ahead by Aberdeen City Council, would have seen swathes of enhancements to the “underused” spaces in King’s Quarter, including the creation of a central atrium with connections to surrounding buildings, as well as improvements to the interiors of surrounding areas, including the Old Senate Wing and Cromwell Tower.

One motivator for the investment was purportedly the anticipated growth in the University’s student population over the next decade, requiring additional resources to support the needs of students and staff.

The Reimagining Our Campuses project board will reportedly look towards the development of a new Strategy and Masterplan to formulate a new approach towards campus development, with the aim of addressing growing student and staff needs.

Karl Leydecker, Senior Vice Principal, said in an announcement:

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this effort, and in particular the members of the project boards that have been overseeing this planning. The work that has been done by many people will be invaluable in the work that is just getting underway to develop a new Campus Strategy and Masterplan.”

Sasha, an incoming Divinity student, welcomes the news, having opposed the development plans on conservationist grounds. They told The Gaudie:

"As a soon-to-be new first year at Aberdeen, who was indeed attracted to the University by a mix of it being the local university where I live, the history, and the world renowned Divinity school, I wholeheartedly back the comments made by the Old Aberdeen Heritage Society in objection to the now chucked plans for King's College redevelopment. King's College and the surrounding buildings are hallowed ground and will remain, God willing, long after those who sought to dismember it have left."


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