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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Arts centre backed by councillors
Proposed arts centre for Aberdeen
The new centre would be built in Aberdeen city centre
A major new centre for the contemporary arts could be built in Aberdeen's city centre.

Councillors gave their backing in principal to the project on Wednesday.

It would see part of Union Terrace Gardens leased for a nominal fee to Peacock Visual Arts, and a new arts centre constructed on the site.

Aberdeen City Council could end up lending as much as 3m to the project. Peacock will be awarded 50,000 to aid its development.

The scheme would house the council's arts development and education departments.

The council hopes to create a thriving cultural quarter in the area, with the Art Gallery and His Majesty's Theatre both nearby.

The development is subject to the production of a business plan and the granting of all relevant permissions.

'Step forward'

Following the meeting, sports and culture spokeswoman Councillor Jennifer Stewart said: "This is a hugely exciting project that can be a focus for the arts in Aberdeen and generate the kind of buzz that everyone in the city is looking for."

Nina Eggens of Peacock Visual Arts said they were thrilled with the decision.

"This is a great step forward and hopefully things can only get better," she said.

Plans to redevelop the ruined Triple Kirks as an arts space have now been abandoned on the grounds that they were not financially viable.

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