Giant attraction for the granite city

The ferris wheel in Belfast
The ferris wheel in Belfast

By Cara Sulieman

THE GRANITE city is to get a new giant tourist attraction that will allow visitors to gaze over the rooftops.

Planning permission has been lodged with Aberdeen City Council to build a 130 ft Ferris wheel in the city centre from September to January next year.

It used to stand at the end of the Champs Elysee win Paris and was a favourite of then President Jacques Chirac.

If granted, it will allow visitors to hop inside one of the 30 individual pods and enjoy views over the city during the winter months.

Hit with the locals

World Tourist Attractions hope to set up the ride at the end of Union Street as Scotland’s answer to the London Eye.

The company already operate Ferris wheels in Belfast, Windsor and Manchester, where they have both been a hit with the locals.

Usually temporary, the structures move from city to city – staying in one place for just a few months.

In Aberdeen’s case it will be there for five months over the quieter tourist months, and it is hoped that it will boost visitors to the city.

“Welcome addition”

A spokesman for World Tourist Attractions said: “Subject to planning approval, we are looking forward to delivering a world-class attraction to the city of Aberdeen.

“We are confident that, if approved, the wheel will add to Aberdeen’s tourism offering and become a welcome addition to the local skyline.”

The city already has a Ferris wheel down at Codona’s amusement park on the beach.

But at a measly 100 ft, it will be dwarfed by the new installation.

The structure was bought by the company for £3 million and used to stand at the end of the Champs Elysee.

“Excellant idea”

And now it is being welcomed to Scotland by locals who think that it will be good for the economy.

George May, the councillor for the area, said: “It sounds like an excellent idea.

“The Castlegate area of Aberdeen is grossly underused and apart from one or two occasional markets, we don’t have much happening there to attract people.

“It’s a great area of Aberdeen and we need to be thinking a bit more proactively about how to encourage people to come there.

“I think sometimes we can be a bit parochial in our approach to things and maybe lack a bit of imagination – but this is a very imaginative scheme.

“It will attract younger people and they will bring others with them – it could invigorate this area of Aberdeen.

“It just might also encourage others to think about trying new things.”

More trade

Letters have been sent to local businesses and residents asking for their opinion on the planning application.

Most business owners are behind the idea, hopeful that it will bring more trade to their end of town.

A spokesman for the council said that they had received the application and it would be considered by councillors.