Demolition work starts on HMP Aberdeen

Craiginches Prison
Craiginches Prison

Demolition work has started on Aberdeen’s old Craiginches Prison.

The Victorian jail in Torry’s Grampian Place closed its doors for the last time in January last year, after 124 years.

Along with HMP Peterhead, it was shut to make way for the £140 million HMP Grampian in the north-east port.

The Peterhead site has since been bought by engineering firm Score Group.

The contract for the demolition work at Craiginches has been awarded to Fraserburgh firm David Smith Contractors.

David Morgan, the demolition manager, said the company hoped to have the site cleared by the spring.

He said: “We are aiming to have the job finished by May. The number of people carrying out the work will vary, but there are a good 20 guys involved, plus machines.

“It’s just the same as a smaller job, there’s no huge building within the site, it’s unconnected smaller ones. It’s well within our capabilities.”

The work will involve excavator machines removing softer materials from the structures of the buildings to bring them down.

Mr Morgan says the firm will work with Aberdeen City Council to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum.

He added: “The prison is surrounded by three roads, we are hoping to keep disturbances on the roads at a minimum.

“There will be traffic management orders required and we will be in discussions with the council about these.”

Last month, the council announced its intention to buy land at the site and dual Wellington Road, one of the city’s busiest routes, to help ease congestion.

The plan is to add another southbound lane close to the roundabout which connects the road with South Esplanade West.

The council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee will meet to discuss the proposals on Tuesday.

The remainder of the site is expected to be sold to Sanctuary Housing Association, which plans to build 120 homes.

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