Aberdeen Science Centre awards major redevelopment contract to Bancon Construction

Bancon Construction is to begin work on a major redevelopment of Aberdeen Science Centre following the award of a £3 million contract.

The Banchory firm will get under way immediately to transform the old granite Tramsheds on Constitution Street, formerly known as Satrosphere, into a new home for the organisation.

Aberdeen Science Centre awards major redevelopment contract to Bancon Construction

Gavin Currie, managing director of Bancon Construction, with Liz Hodge, chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre, outside the old granite Tramsheds

The build is expected to take 11 months and will see the creation of a state-of-the-art Science Centre which reflects the key priorities of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) agenda for both education and industry.

The multi-million-pound redevelopment will revitalise and transform the dated centre as well as expanding the exhibition and corporate space.

Led by architects at Halliday Fraser Munro, the transformation will include an extension and creation of a new mezzanine floor – almost doubling the exhibition space – and exposing the roof structure to allow natural light to flood into the building.

The team from Bancon Construction will also completely redevelop the interior of the centre before specialist fitters move in to create brand new, interactive exhibits and displays.

Aberdeen Science Centre awards major redevelopment contract to Bancon Construction

The £4.7m redevelopment is made possible by support and funding from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation, Wellcome, Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeen City Council.

Fundraising is ongoing to secure a further £1.25m to ensure quality of programmes and delivery to enhance the overall visitor experience at the venue.

Aberdeen Science Centre has moved to a temporary home at 107 George Street, Aberdeen, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy interactive exhibits, inspiring activities and topical science events while the work is being carried out.

Gavin Currie, managing director of Bancon Construction, said: “Aberdeen Science Centre holds special memories for many local people as well as visitors and we are honoured to have been awarded the contract to redevelop the building into a centre that is fit for the 21st century.

“The scope of work includes building an extension and creating a new mezzanine floor for exhibitions, as well as re-roofing and the complete development of the building’s fabric.

“We have considerable experience of working with old granite buildings and we recently carried out a similar redevelopment project at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre building in Aberdeen, which included the complete refurbishment of the reception and upper floors, and structural alterations.

“The team is looking forward to getting started on the Aberdeen Science Centre project, where we expect to have up to 50 workers on site at the height of the work.”

Liz Hodge, chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “We were impressed by the quality of the submission by Bancon Construction and the experience of the team and are pleased this major project has been awarded to a local company.

“The awarding of this contract marks the start of an exciting milestone in our history and moves us closer to realising our long-term aspirations of revitalising Aberdeen Science Centre and creating a state-of-the-art facility people in the North-east can be proud of.”

She added: “We are looking forward to working with the team at Bancon Construction and to unveiling our transformed centre to the public next year.”

Aberdeen Science Centre is scheduled to open at the Tramsheds in spring 2020.

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