Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 19:30 UK

Mystery 5m pledge for civic square plans

Image of Union Terrace Garden Plan
The proposals have divided opinion in Aberdeen

An anonymous businessman has pledged £5m for Aberdeen's controversial city square project.

The offer is on top of the £50m already pledged by Sir Ian Wood to transform Union Terrace Gardens.

The latest pledge was made to Aberdeen City Council chief executive Sue Bruce who said the benefactor wanted to remain anonymous.

Councillors will meet on Wednesday to decide on a new city centre development framework for the city.

The authority's 10 Labour members are also due to meet later to decide how they will vote on Wednesday.

All other parties are expected to allow councillors a free vote.

Council officials are recommending that councillors back the £140m City Square plans.

However, the majority of people who took part in a public consultation on the issue opposed the plan.

'Destroyed completely'

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has also said it backs alternative plans by the Peacock Visual Arts Group to build a contemporary arts centre in the gardens.

The organisation, which represents Scotland's architects, called the art centre plans "visionary" and said the civic square option could "destroy an important amenity and breathing space".

Meanwhile, a second pensioner has donated £10,000 to the art centre project.

The Peacock Visual Arts group, which has already been given the go-ahead to build the centre, said retired teacher Roddy Miller from Cults wanted to see the gardens protected.

His donation comes after former council worker Renee Margaret Slater pledged £10,000. The amount is half her redundancy money after leaving the local authority.

Mr Miller said: "My major concern and first worry was from a purely artistic, architectural and historical point of view.

"I think the idea to deck over the gardens at street level is just crazy.

"Here you've got a beautiful dramatic natural amphitheatre and that would be destroyed completely if you concrete it over to street level."



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SEE ALSO
Gardens petition goes to council
13 May 10 |  North East/N Isles
Gardens plan support recommended
12 May 10 |  North East/N Isles
Sir Ian speaks over civic hopes
20 Apr 10 |  North East/N Isles
Majority against City Square plan
13 Apr 10 |  North East/N Isles
Doubts over city centre project
13 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Businesses back civic square plan
24 Feb 10 |  North East/N Isles
Annie Lennox opposes gardens plan
08 Feb 10 |  North East/N Isles
Guggenheim idea for city gardens
04 Feb 10 |  North East/N Isles

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