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New tenant for controversial project

AllBarOne takes space in Marischal Square

All Bar One has given a boost to the controversial Marischal Square office and leisure development in Aberdeen.

Marischal Sq

Marischal Sq, Aberdeen

It will its establish its first presence in the city by taking 6,000 sq ft in the £107 million scheme. It joins international hotelier, Marriott, among occupiers in the development.

Marischal Square is being built on the site of the despised St. Nicholas House complex and some critics say it is not much of an improvement.

There were hostile objections from residents in the city who felt it was of poor design and not in keeping with its surrounding architecture. Building work is more than half way into the 116-week programme.

Supporters say it will deliver a “vibrant new mixed-use quarter for the city”, including 175,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space and a 126-bed Residence Inn by Marriott.

The nearby 470-year-old Provost Skene’s House will undergo a £500,000 refurbishment.

Aberdeen-based businesses are said to have benefited from £15m-worth of contracts during the early construction phase, including the supply of joinery, flooring, tiling, scaffolding and cleaning services.

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said the All Bar One announcement today is also likely to be a significant boost to attracting business to the city centre.

Councillor Laing said: “All Bar One is one of Britain’s best-loved brands and its commitment to Aberdeen’s city-centre regeneration programme is testament to its confidence in the area and the strategic value it places on our economy as we move to a new and exciting phase.

“The business has just under 50 outlets in the UK and in what is clearly a coup for the city and this will be its first in the north-east.”

She described All Bar One’s investment as a sign of “even greater things to come as the Marischal Square development goes from strength to strength.”

All Bar One is owned by Mitchells & Butlers. Mark Millett, retail director for the brand, said the company was delighted to extend its Scottish presence to four bars (currently two in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow). He said the Aberdeen outlet would open at the end of August, 2017.

Urban regeneration and property specialist Muse Developments is delivering the project with partners Aberdeen City Council and Aviva Investors.

CBRE and Ryden are acting as agents.

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