Construction has started on a new £4.3million learning disability centre in Aberdeen.
Integration Joint Board (IJB) chair Councillor Len Ironside CBE was joined by service-users today (Friday 8th April) to cut the first sod to mark the start of building work on the new state-of-the-art centre at the Mastrick Drive site.
The facility is being built on the site of the old Burnside Day Centre, between Muirfield School and Hillylands Independent Living Centre.
The new centre – which will replace the ageing Rosehill Day Centre in Ashgrove – has been fully funded from Aberdeen City Council’s capital programme and will be managed by the new Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership.
It will provide support and activities for up to 80 adults with severe learning and physical disabilities, and office space for 40 professional staff from ACHSCP.
The new centre will feature a café, along with a sensory garden which will be created and planted following completion of the building. Both will be open to the public.
Councillor Ironside said: “The centre will provide a modern and welcoming facility for folk with learning and physical disabilities but it has also been designed to be a real community asset.
“The sensory garden will be open for people to visit and the café in the centre will also be a public facility. We want the new centre to be not just in the local community but a true part of it.”
ACHSCP Head of Operations Tom Cowan said: “We always envisaged that the new centre would give us the opportunity to build links between the surrounding community and the service-users and staff in the centre itself.
“The philosophy behind this scheme is one of inclusion, with the aim of breaking down traditional artificial barriers which can often exclude people with physical and learning disabilities from the wider community.”
Suggestions for a name for the centre will be gathered by officers from service-users and the local community over the coming weeks, and IJB members will choose from the shortlist this summer.
Morrison Construction, which won the contract for the building work, is aiming to complete the centre at the end of this year.
Mike Bruce, Regional Director for Morrison Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver this purpose-built facility for the community of Aberdeen. We hope it will improve the experience of service-users, their families and the staff.
“I’ve seen before what a wonderful boost brand new facilities can give to everyone involved and key to its delivery will be our local team and our local supply chain.”