Aberdeen University capital projects ‘paused’ in cost cutting bid

University_of_AberdeenThe University of Aberdeen has put a number of major projects at the campus on hold as part of plans to reduce its budget by £10.5 million.

All capital expenditure projects which have yet to start have been put on hold for three months, including the £100m energy research centre and the redevelopment of a student union in the university grounds.

The university said it is currently reviewing all aspects of its expenditure, but anticipates resuming the projects in the summer.

The moves come less than two weeks after the university revealed voluntary staff severance and early retirement packages are to be offered to workers as the institution looks to save money.

A university spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing all aspects of our expenditure, including ensuring that our 10-year capital plan dovetails with the Strategic Plan we are now finalising.

“This includes a pause for three months in development of projects which are at an early design stage, including the new Student Union, Energy Building, CASS Modernisation and Teaching Facilities, and Dunbar project.

“We anticipate resuming these projects in the summer. Investment in our infrastructure is a key priority in our new plan and we are committed to further enhancement of our campus.”

The university unveiled its ambition to create the state-of-the-art science facility four months ago, with it described as a centre of excellence in research, innovation and teaching.

But the project has been put on hold to identify what further savings can be made ahead of a full planning application being submitted.

The £8m proposals to renovate the university’s Butchart Centre student union building have also been delayed.

The proposed location for the new purpose-built Energy Building is close to the university’s Sir Duncan Rice Library, on a site at the corner of St Machar Drive and Bedford Road.

Some of the areas of students’ research would include maximising economic recovery of existing fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage, and renewable energy and energy economics.

It’s expected that construction on the energy centre would be followed by the planned demolition of the Meston Building on the corner of Meston Walk and Elphinstone Road.

The centre will also serve as a venue to host events, functions and exhibitions.

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