Union Terrace Gardens - Aberdeen

Project start/completion date - 9 September 2019 to 2021

National Inclusion Week - Week of 28 September 2020

Each year, we celebrate National Inclusion Week to raise awareness of inclusion in the workplace.

Throughout the week, our employees get involved in a range educational and insightful webinars and listen to a podcasts from each of our Affinity Networks. Our activities aim to stimulate productive conversations around inclusion within the business and the industry as a whole.

To help everyone get involved in the celebrations, our employees helped to create this video to share what inclusion means to them – what does it mean to you? #each1reach1 #NIW2020

Support for schools via DYW North East - 23 September 2020

Balfour Beatty's Steve Petrie (Business Performance Director) arranged live video link for Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire pupils with major US healthcare project as part of ongoing commitment to DYW agenda.

Balfour Beatty arranged for a live virtual site visit of one of our large construction sites in Philadelphia for pupils at local secondary schools in North East region as part of ongoing supports for local DYW North East group.

Pupils from Lochside Academy, Westhill Academy & Portlethen Academy joined the call to hear from staff involved in delivery of the £1.5 billion Balfour Beatty US PennFirst New Patient Pavilion project in Philadelphia. The video call focused on learning about project team members pathways into construction as well as viewing a live tour of the project.

The live session was recorded and is to be shared via the DYW group to other local schools within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

Support for graduate apprenticeships - September 2020

Local Aberdeen resident Fraser Conway has recently progressed onto a gradate apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty Site Engineer Fraser Conway has recently completed his 4 year civil engineering modern apprenticeship and has now progressed onto a new Graduate Apprenticeship Civil Engineering programme.

Fraser joined Balfour Beatty in 2016 and is a former pupil at Northfield Academy. Fraser initially joined Balfour Beatty as an apprentice civil engineer working on the AWPR as was part of the joint venture project team between 2016-2018.

Fraser has since been a member of the project team which delivered the Dundee Regional Performance Centre for Sport project (2018-2019) and has been part of the Union Terrace Gardens project since the project commenced in September 2019.

Fraser completed his civil engineering modern apprenticeship with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Inverness College and it is with the same University that he is completing his new 4 year Graduate Apprenticeship course.

Support for Portlethen Academy video call - 27 August 2020

Fraser Conway pictured (Bottom left) with construction industry representatives who supported webinar for Portlethen Academy pupils.

Project engineer Fraser Conway provided support on Thursday 27 August to a career information webinar that was hosted by Portlethen Academy.

Fraser joined a panel of local industry representatives that presented via video call to 40 pupils completing a new construction & crafts course which is being delivered by the school. The session was recorded and will be shared with other local schools in the North East region that are delivering the qualification this year.

The virtual session was arranged as part of the Wood Foundation Excelerate programme. The impact of the session was evaluated and a report published to highlight this successfully approach.

Published opinion piece - Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce - July 2020

This month we are promoting importance promoting importance of industry continuing to focus on Apprenticeship recruitment and value of business engagement with education.

Donation to local foodbank - 24 July 2020

Project team have been collecting food donations on site for local charity Instant Neighbour. Staff choose to collect goods for charity after hearing about break in to Instant Neighbour premises and will continue to collect food donations on site.

Urban regeneration webinar - 7 July 2020

Balfour Beatty Business Performance Director, Professor Steve Petrie, was part of the panel of speakers on the Supply Chain Sustainability School webinar event on Tuesday 7 July 2020.

The webinar included keynote speakers from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council's Procurement and Environment teams and discussions focused on circular and sustainable construction as well as highlighting best practice delivery on the Union Terrace Gardens project.

International Women in Engineering Day - 23 June 2020

Union Terrace Gardens project team members showed their support for International Women in Engineering day by posing with the #IWED selfie cards.

The worldwide campaign is to show appreciation to the contribution that women engineers make within the construction and engineering industries.

Webinar support for Barnardos participants - 11 June 2020

Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns delivered an information session for Barnardos participants and staff with roughly 30 people joining zoom call.

The session provided an opportunity to connect directly with young people from across Scotland that have an interest in working in construction and included Barnardos Service leads from North Scotland.

Webinar support for Founders4Schools - 27 May 2020

John Cairns (Community Benefits Advisor) was one of the guest speakers on the Founders4Schools video webinar on Wednesday 27 May.

The sessions provided an opportunity to speak with young people across Scotland with approx 80 people on the call and focused on discussing career pathways within the construction industry.

Free education resources shared with local schools - 25 May 2020

Balfour Beatty developed and shared a pack of education resources via social media during week of 25 May.

The full pack was shared with local DYW North East and Aberdeen City Council education contacts with request to share resources with local school contacts.

Aberdeen pupils supported to complete virtual work placements - 21 May 2020

During week of 18th May, three S4 pupils from Lochside Academy and one S4 pupil from Aberdeen Grammar were supported and funded by Balfour Beatty to complete the SCAPE: Learning in Lockdown programme.

During the week, pupils were supported by Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns via daily video calls and participated in Learn Live webinars which provided an insight into design in construction.

All 4 pupils completed an Esteem Pavilion challenge which involved creating 3d models of their design ideas. As well as receiving a personalised thank you letter from Balfour Beatty Managing Director Hector Macaulay, pupils also earned a silver industrial cadet certificate.

Webinars to promote careers in construction - 19 May 2020

During the month of May, Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns delivered two career information sessions via zoom for participants involved in the Career Ready programme, the second session was facilitated by Aberdeen Career Ready coordinator Janice Duncan. A further webinar session to promote industry careers was also completed for pupils involved in the Founders4Schools programme.

In June, Balfour Beatty will be supporting further webinars via videocalls including a session which has been arranged for participants in Barnardos employability training programmes.

Supply chain workshop - Union Terrace Gardens - 9/10 March 2020

Balfour Beatty's procurement team hosted a two day workshop in Aberdeen in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce & Circular North East to explore opportunities for sustainable procurement within Union Terrace Gardens project.

A number of representatives from the UTG project team participated in the sessions, highlighting the teams aspiration to create a more circular economy which will deliver improvements on UTG's sustainability/environmental goals.

Scottish Apprenticeship week promotion - 6 March 2020

Fraser Conway, current local 4th year apprentice who is part of project team at Union Terrace Gardens

Senior Phase event at Aberdeen Grammar - 26 February 2020

On Wednesday 26 February, Balfour Beatty continued support for local secondary school Aberdeen Grammar.

John Cairns (Community Benefits Advisor) Cara McMurtrie (Graduate engineer) Konstantina Fragkou (Apprentice Community Benefits Apprentice) hosted a stall at the schools senior phase careers event.

The career event was a good opportunity to discuss careers in construction & engineering with pupils and speak to parents about ongoing works at Union Terrace Gardens.

New apprentice role created - 3 February 2020

Konstantina Fragkou, new community benefits apprentice

On Monday 3 February, Balfour Beatty welcomed Konstantina Fragkou as the latest recruit to the Community Investment Scotland team. Konstantina has joined the team as Apprentice Community Benefits Advisor and is based in the Kintore office in Aberdeenshire. The role will support evidence the additional social value which Balfour Beatty create during construction of large-scale infrastructure projects.

As part of ongoing company training, Konstantina will be completing a level 6 business & Administration apprenticeship through North East Scotland College over a period of approx. 2 years.

Having moved to Scotland from Greece in 2017, Konstantina completed studies at RGU in Aberdeen and during the past 18 months has been employed within the retail sector as well as completing a volunteering role with Aberdeen charity Station House Media Unit (SHMU) where she provided administration & reception support.

The creation of the new apprenticeship position has been made possible due to Balfour Beatty securing a number of high-profile projects which are under construction in 2020 including Union Terrace Gardens.

Temporary one-way for city street as flagship project progresses - 10 January 2020

Union Terrace is to become one-way to traffic for a temporary period to allow work on the regeneration of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) to advance.

From January 27, traffic will be permitted to travel only in a northbound direction – from Union Street to Rosemount Viaduct – with the restriction expected to be in place until mid-November.

A one-way system is needed to maintain a safe working environment during this phase of the programme, which includes balustrade strengthening, the replacement of the existing arches (which run under the road), slab reinforcement and resurfacing.

Union Terrace Gardens will feature new entrances, pavilions and walkways, flexible events space, sympathetic landscaping, a greater number and variety of trees, bespoke lighting, and the restoration of the Victorian toilets as well as the Union Terrace arches.

Contractor Balfour Beatty has been appointed to deliver the £25.7 million flagship City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project. UTG is scheduled to re-open in Summer 2021.

Councillor Marie Boulton, spokesperson for the CCMP, said: "We appreciate that a one-way system on Union Terrace may inconvenience some travellers, however during construction we must put the safety of workers and the public first. There is a huge prize to be won. The works will enhance Union Terrace Gardens’ existing heritage features and provide a platform for new elements that will greatly improve access and amenity, creating an inclusive garden for the 21st Century. This is yet another milestone in the transformation our city centre and is to be welcomed as another step towards making Aberdeen an even more attractive place to visit, work and live.”

The council has been liaising with bus operators and revised service timetables have been drawn up by both First Aberdeen and Stagecoach.

Input into Aberdeen Grammar subject choice evening - 9 January 2020

On Thursday 9 January 2020, Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns hosted a stall at the Aberdeen Grammar S3 subject choices event.

The event was attended by approx. 100 pupils/parents and provided a great opportunity to talk to pupil about ongoing works on Union Terrace Gardens as well as promoting future careers in construction and engineering.

Creative Design Workshop - Aberdeen Grammar - 19 December 2019

S3 pupils at Aberdeen Grammar completed the 4 week creative design workshop which was developed to promote ongoing works on Union Terrace Gardens.

Pupils worked in teams to create scale models of the Burns Pavilion, one of three pavilions which will be constructed as part of the Union Terrace Gardens project.

Senior Project Manager Alec Oliver met with pupils during the final session to view models which had been created and to select a winning team. All project models and team presentations were of an extremely high standard and the groups are to be invited to the site next year for a tour to view the start of the construction of the pavillion in 2020.

Aberdeen Cyrenians - Volunteering sessions - 17 & 19 December 2019

On Tuesday 17 December & Thursday 19 December, 8 members of the Union terrace Gardens project team volunteered for two hours each with Aberdeen Cyrenians as part of their 2019 Christmas campaign.

Aberdeen Cyrenians are collecting donations and food parcels for people who are homeless over the Christmas period and staff assisted to move donations and create food parcels which are to be handed out over the next few days

Cash for Kids Christmas present donations - 18 December 2019

Many thanks to staff on site who donated presents to this years Cash for Kids North East Christmas campaign

Input to SHMU Positive Transitions employability group - 4 December 2019

SHMU Positive Transitions participants taking part in short construction team building challenge

On Tuesday 4 December, Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns hosted a workshop for 8 young people taking part in the SHMU Positive Transitions employability programme.

The participants are in Week 2 of their 12 week course and the workshop provided people with an overview of Balfour Beatty, jobs within the construction industry and discussed in detail ongoing works on the Union Terrace Gardens project.

Creative Design Workshops begin with Aberdeen Grammar - 3 December 2019

Creative Design Workshops with local secondary school Aberdeen Grammar

15 x S3 pupils at Aberdeen Grammar have recently starting a bespoke creative design project which has been designed to promote ongoing works on the Union Terrace Gardens project.

Over the course of 3 weeks, pupils will be working in teams to construct a scale model of the Burns Pavilion and they will also be developing concepts for a community space within the gardens.

The project is due to run till Thursday 19 December 2019.

Session with RGU construction management students - 25 November 2019

Balfour Beatty graduate Ross Sinclair and Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns at RGU

On 25 November 2019, Balfour Beatty graduate Ross Sinclair and Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns met with 3rd year Construction Management students at RGU.

The session provided students with an opportunity to learn more about ongoing Balfour Beatty projects in the North of Scotland including Union Terrace Gardens. Graduate Construction Manager Ross Sinclair also discussed his experience to date with Balfour Beatty after joining the company in March 2019 after successfully graduating from the RGU construction management course.

In addition, students were provided with information on upcoming work placements which could be supported by Balfour Beatty in 2020.

Build your Future - Regional Construction competition - 12 November 2019

On Tuesday 12 November, Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns supported workshops across the full day with a number of secondary schools that are taking part in the Grampian Construction training Group's 'Build your Future 2019' event.

Teams competed in groups of 4 x 10 pupils to be selected for the regional final which is taking place in January 2019. Secondary Schools which competed as part of the heat represented Ellon Academy, Turriff Academy and Mintlaw Academy.

Bridges to Schools week for 250 P7 pupils - week of 4 November 2019

Balfour Beatty supported 255 pupils from Aberdeen City primary schools through delivering the Bridges to Schools workshops at Lochside Academy during week of 4 November 2019.

The sessions were arranged as part of partnership with Lochside Academy and engaged pupils from Loirston Primary, Abbotswell Primary, Charleston Primary, Walker Road Primary, Tullos Primary and Kirkhill Primary.

"Fantastic week John many thanks to you and your team for all your work." - Neil Hendry, Headteacher, Lochside Academy

School pupils craft Union Terrace Gardens vision - 8 October 2019

Youngsters have been sharing their vision of the city centre as part of community project to mark the start of the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG).

Third Year pupils at Harlaw Academy were asked to build models representing new elements of park.

The £25.7 million Aberdeen City Council project will deliver pavilions, elevated walkways, event space and play facilities when it reopens in Summer 2021.

The schools project was led by Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns from Balfour Beatty – the contractor appointed by the Council to carry out construction – along with art teacher Nikki Nairns and Heather Paterson, Harlaw’s head of technology.

Over the course of four sessions, five teams of eight pupils worked to complete two challenges after first learning about the redevelopment of UTG under the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP).

“This is a tremendous initiative which has resulted in the young people of Harlaw Academy deploying problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration and their imagination throughout their time spent formulating their plans.These qualities are critical in the future workforce and I am really impressed by the quality and depth of engagement and outcomes this project has delivered. I hope that we have created some engineers of the future as a result of this work.” - Steve Petrie, Balfour Beatty, UK Improvement Lead
Councillor Marie Boulton with the winning Harlaw Academy S3 group
S3 pupils completing the Union Terrace Gardens design challenge

Workshops for S2 Build your Future competition at Aberdeen Grammar- 4 October 2019

On Friday the 4th of October, all 160 pupils in the Aberdeen Grammar S2 year group took part in a challenge set up by Balfour Beatty during Period 5 & 6. The challenge was to construct the tallest tower to hold a golf ball at the top in 20 minutes in groups of five. This was lead by John Cairns (Community Benefits Advisor) of Balfour Beatty.

The towers were constructed out of K’Nex and marked in three areas:Height of tower, Teamwork, Design of tower

There were some interesting designs and teams worked very well together but at the end of each period we had to choose a winning team. The winning teams will now form one team of ten to go forward and represent Aberdeen Grammar School at the upcoming Build your Future event taking place on Thursday 14th November at Stewart Milne Group, Westhill.

S2 Pupils at Aberdeen Grammar working in teams as part of the regional Build Your Future 2019/20 programme

Site cabins installed on site - 4 October 2019

Project team site eco cabins & welfare units installed on site by A-Plant

Meet the Buyer event - Tuesday 24 September 2019

On Tuesday 24 September, Jim Brannan (Head of Procurement Scotland) & Melissa Johnston (Buyer) and John Cairns (Community Benefits Advisor) hosted a Meet the Buyer event in the Aberdeen Town & County hall.

The event attracted over 70 registrations from local businesses and provided an opportunity to have direct conversations with local companies that may be part of the supply chain for the project in upcoming period ahead.

“Union Terrace Gardens is an iconic project and local suppliers want to get involved because it will provide a legacy for generations to come as well as significant economic and social value. They were very well informed about the high consistent standards demanded by Balfour Beatty in terms of safety, quality and delivery – and also in developing their own young workforce through apprenticeships and training.” Jim Brannan, Balfour Beatty Regional Head of Procurement for Scotland

Workshops for S2 Build your Future competition at Lochside Academy - 17 September 2019

Lochside Academy pupils completing their construction challenges

On Tuesday 17 September, Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns hosted 2 x sessions for the S2 year group at Lochside Academy.

220 pupils completed the workshops which were designed to assist the school select their 10 representatives for the upcoming regional 'Build Your Future' 2019/20 challenge which is starting in October.

Creative Design Workshops begin with Harlaw Academy - 17 September 2019

40 x S2 pupils at Harlaw Academy have recently starting a bespoke creative design project which has been designed to promote ongoing works on the Union Terrace Gardens project.

Over the course of 4 weeks, pupils will be working in teams to construct a scale model of the Burns Pavilion and they will also be developing concepts for a community space within the gardens.

The project is due to run till Tuesday 8 October 2019.

Registrations open for Balfour Beatty Meet the Buyer session

Balfour Beatty Meet the Buyer session confirmed for Tuesday 24 September at 11:30am - session for local businesses interested in learning more about supply chain opportunities on our Aberdeen City Council Union Terrace Gardens project.

To register please visit :https://lnkd.in/eUVH9AY

Safety measures to mark start on Union Terrace Gardens - 6 September 2019

Contractors are to start on site on Monday, September 9, as work gets under way to transform Union Terrace Gardens (UTG).

The £25.7 million Aberdeen City Council project is being taken forward as part of the City Centre Masterplan and will greatly improve access, amenity and activity when completed in Summer 2021.

Key project elements include elevated walkways, new pavilions, event space, play facilities, and extensive planting to increase biodiversity within the Victorian park.

Construction contractor Balfour Beatty anticipates a six week period of set-up.

The Council is committed to creating a safe working environment for both contractors and the general public throughout the build process.

Pavements bordering UTG (listed below) will close from next week to accommodate protective hoardings that will surround the site:

Eastern footway on Union Terrace

Part of the southern footway on Rosemount Viaduct

Northern footway on Union Bridge

The slip road between Rosemount Viaduct and Union Terrace is being closed off.

During 2020, the hoardings will be extended into Union Terrace to enable arch replacement, strengthening of the balustrades and footway widening. Traffic management measures will be needed to maintain a safe working space and the Council is exploring ways to keep travel disruption to a minimum.

The addition of a permanent safety structure to Union Bridge will be part of the first stage of project work. Temporary fencing currently in front of the bridge parapet will be removed and attached messages kept in storage.

Aberdeen City Council is continuing to work closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership and other community planning partners to ensure that the best possible community mental health services are delivered.

Programme plan for transformational Union Terrace Gardens project - 28 August 2019

A programme of works has been mapped out for a transformational project in Aberdeen city centre.

Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) is undergoing a £25.7 million regeneration under Aberdeen City Council’s City Centre Masterplan.

Contractor Balfour Beatty will take possession of the site on 9 September and anticipates a six-week period of set-up, including erecting hoardings around the perimeter.

Key project features include elevated walkways, new pavilions, events space, play facilities, and extensive planting to increase biodiversity within the Victorian park.

The first stage of construction work will involve foundation piling and adding a permanent safety barrier to Union Bridge.

During 2020 the programme will focus on strengthening of the balustrades, the renovation and refurbishment of the arches, and the widening of the pavement along Union Terrace.

The Council is committed to maintaining a safe working environment within the footprint of the Gardens and the immediate surrounding area for both contractors and the general public.

At various points during the programme there will be a need to extend protective hoardings and other safety measures on to public footways and highways.

The Council will work with its partners to ensure a high standard of safety is implemented while exploring ways to keep any impact on pedestrian and vehicular traffic to a minimum.

The pavilions are expected to be completed in Spring 2021 followed by lighting and landscaping ahead of the planned reopening of UTG that summer.

Volunteering at Techfest - 27 August 2019

Community Benefits Advisor John Cairns supported a half day session at this years techfest at RGU. Support was provided to deliver the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) bridges to schools session on Tuesday 27 August.

During the session, two schools completed the bridge building activity - Oyne School (21 pupils) and Bramble Brae School (25 pupils).

Drop in information session - 21 August 2019

Presentation slides shared by project team at public information sessions - week of 19 August 2019

Turf cutting ceremony - 12 August 2019

Council leaders today (August 12) hailed the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) as “history in the making” as the works programme was announced.

A ceremonial turf-cutting was held ahead of construction getting under way on the £25.7 million Aberdeen City Council project on 9 September.

First steps will involve closing off a slip road that will become the site of one of three new pavilions and improving drainage in the Victorian park, which opened in 1879.

Announcement of contract award - 25 April 2019

The transformation of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) is set to start this summer following the selection of a contractor by Aberdeen City Council.

The flagship City Centre Masterplan project will transform the Victorian park into an inclusive 21st Century space by improving access, amenity and activity whilst enhancing UTG’s heritage features.

The design includes three pavilions (on Union Street, Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct), a walkway from Union Street, landscaping and lighting, and the refurbishment of the Union Terrace arches.

International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has been chosen to carry out the £25.7 million regeneration of UTG after taking part in a competitive tendering process, which will conclude with the signing of legal agreements.

The first phase of work will include building a permanent safety structure on Union Bridge.

“We are looking forward to working with Aberdeen City Council to transform the historic Union Terrace Gardens, which on completion will significantly contribute to the Council’s City Centre Masterplan. Our construction expertise coupled with our experience in regenerating public spaces makes us ideally positioned to deliver the three new pavilions and sympathetically upgrade this much-loved historic space which will benefit the local community and visitors alike for years to come.” Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty Regional Managing Director of Scotland and Ireland

Award-winning consultancy LDA Design developed plans for UTG based on concepts in the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP). The plans were refined in response to public and stakeholder feedback and approved by Aberdeen City Council last year.

Design features include:

New accessible walkway route into the gardens from Union Street

Lift access from Union Terrace into the upper level of the gardens through a new entrance building on Union Terrace at the existing Burns Monument

Improved disabled parking facilities on Union Terrace directly adjacent to the new accessible walkway routes into the gardens

Retaining the central lawn space as a flexible space for large scale gathering and events, and a new entrance opposite His Majesty’s Theatre to accommodate smaller scale events

Reinstating the ‘grand staircase’ as a central part of the new accessible route into the gardens from Rosemount Viaduct

Following the award of contract there will be an initial period of approximately three months to allow the detailed design to be finalised. The physical works, some of which are weather dependent, are expected to commence on site in summer 2019 with a completion by summer 2021.

Union Terrace Gardens - Design Images

Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan

The Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan is the biggest regeneration programme in the city’s history.

The delivery of Union Terrace Gardens is a flagship project of the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan. To read more please follow link below:

Information on future career opportunities within Balfour Beatty

Choose to start your career with Balfour Beatty, and you won’t just learn – you’ll influence

Balfour Beatty have many great projects and an exciting pipeline of work.

To find our more about the range of exciting career opportunities which we can offer in Aberdeen and across the UK, please visit our Careers information page.

The transformation of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) is being delivered on behalf of Aberdeen City Council.

The flagship City Centre Masterplan project will transform the Victorian park into an inclusive 21st Century space by improving access, amenity and activity whilst enhancing UTG’s heritage features

Union Terrace Gardens project is registered with the Considerate Constructors scheme with the objective to improve the image of the construction industry by striving to promote and achieve best practice under the scheme.

Through the CCS scheme we will demonstrate our Care about Appearance, Respect for the Community, Protect measures for the Environment, Secure everyone’s Safety and Value our Workforce.

In 2019, Balfour Beatty received two national CCS awards for outstanding project sites completed in Aberdeen - Lochside Academy & Aberdeen International Airport projects