The attractive outdoor spaces at Duthie Park ELC.

Aberdeen City Council ELC Expansion


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Aberdeen City Council
March 2021
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Eight new and upgraded Early Learning Centres for Aberdeen

With the free annual provision of early learning and childcare hours nearly doubling under a Scottish Government initiative to support child development, the eight new and upgraded nurseries for Aberdeen City Council will provide high-quality facilities and the capacity to meet demand in one of the city's poorest areas.

As a whole, these projects were procured through the Procurement Hub – Major Projects framework, speeding up delivery and building in value-for-money and social value guarantees.

In a programme that incorporates 27 Early Learning Centres, priority is being given to three main areas where 30% of families live in poverty and have the highest proportion of pre-school children. Enabling works included bespoke modular building decant facilities to facilitate tight timescales for the new build nurseries. The current Phase 1 includes three new builds and refurbishment and reconfiguration works to five nurseries.

  • Enabling works package.
  • Remodelling and refurbishment works – classrooms, bathrooms, cloakroom, reception and kitchen areas.
  • More child places.
  • Free provision increased from 38 to 50 weeks per year.

We are not only delivering on our duty to provide expanded Early Years Learning and Childcare hours, but we are ensuring that children receive this enhanced offering in the best possible facilities and settings."
Councillor Jenny Laing

Collaborative design for the best early years environments

Prior to our involvement, the nurseries were being designed in isolation but once our project team were on board, we worked with architects Halliday Fraser Munro during preconstruction to standardise detailing across the developments and drive cost efficiencies.

We used natural ventilation, with skylights for cross ventilation and daylight, to create a healthy and comfortable environment. In the new build nurseries, sliding doors lead out onto covered terraces, providing a transitional zone between internal and external learning environments. Windows are full height to give clear views to the outside, and the activity spaces are designed to be as flexible as possible, with furniture creating subdivisions in rooms.

As a result of our approach, Aberdeen City Council asked us to provide the knowledge and expertise to bring designs and programmes together for all 27 sites in their early years programme.

Our ambition, right from the outset, has been to support children's educational development, close the poverty-related attainment gap, and to support families in a local setting. With first-class facilities, including innovative learning settings such as the forthcoming outdoor facility at Duthie Park, we are well on the way to achieving this.
Councillor Douglas Lumsden
Co-leader Aberdeen City Council

New build nurseries

  • Seaton Early Years Centre
  • Northfield Cummings Park Early Years Centre
  • Tillydrone Early Years Centre

Refurbished nurseries

  • Kingsford Early Years Centre
  • Quarryhill Early Years Centre
  • Tullos Early Years Centre
  • Westpark Early Years Centre
  • Woodside Early Years Centre

Route to market

This programme of new nurseries and refurbishments was directly awarded to Robertson Construction Eastern by Aberdeen City Council through the Procurement Hub Major Projects Framework.