John Slater, Lord Dunlop and Stuart MacGregor, group finance director, Stewart Milne Group

John Slater, Lord Dunlop and Stuart MacGregor, group finance director, Stewart Milne Group

AN ABERDEEN residential development featuring schools, parks and 3000 homes will go ahead following an £86 million guarantee by the UK Government.

The new Countesswells site to the west of Aberdeen city will incorporate 750 affordable homes from a total of 3000 new private properties, as well as two primary schools, an academy built to meet curriculum for excellence standards, and a medical centre with GP and dental practices.

There will also be retail and office space, woodland, children's play parks and leisure space for restaurants and cafes.

The new community, spread over 407 acres of land, is expected to accommodate around 7000 people.

Planning permission for the first phase of the 15-year project has already by granted by Aberdeen City Council, but the state-backed guarantee announced yesterday will ensure the finance needed to deliver it.

Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop, who announced the deal during a visit to Aberdeen, said it was "a vote of confidence in the North East".

Under the Scheme, the Treasury guarantees that lenders to infrastructure projects will be repaid in full and on time.

The Funder for the Countesswells development will be Bank of Scotland, who has worked alongside Stewart Milne Group and HM Treasury to create long term lending for the life of the project, which is expected to support 1000 construction jobs in the region.

Mr Dunlop said: "The UK Government is offering this guarantee to allow this major Aberdeen project to go ahead. This is a great example of partnership working where the government can unlock the capital and the potential of the development.

"This part of Scotland is facing some stiff challenges but today's announcement is a vote of confidence in the North East by the UK Government and those involved in the project."

Infrastructure works will begin in April with first homes available later this year.

SOURCE: Herald Scotland

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