Barr Construction, the formerly independent Scottish construction and engineering firm, has been named as the preferred bidder on the new £38 million Aberdeen FC stadium.

Barr will transform land at Loirston Loch into a 21,000-seat arena as the Dons prepare to leave Pittodrie.

The firm was also behind the redevelopment of Celtic Park in Glasgow, Southampton FC’s St Mary’s Stadium, a new stand at Hibernian’s Easter Road in Edinburgh, Airdrie FC’s Excelsior Stadium, and St Mirren’s new home at Paisley.

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As part of the pre-service agreement with Aberdeen FC, Barr will now work to develop the design of the new stadium in detail and will consult with Aberdeen City Council’s planning team on the proposals regarding discharge of planning conditions to allow the scheme to proceed to construction.

Barr yesterday said it anticipated concluding the contract to build the new stadium towards the end of the year, and aimed to start on site in early 2012.

Aberdeen FC is keen for the stadium to be constructed in time for the kick-off of the 2013/14 season.

In total, Barr Construction has already delivered more than 50 stadia projects around the UK.

In July 2009, Barr was also appointed by the Olympic Delivery Authority to build the main structure of the Olympic Basketball arena for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It is understood that Aberdeen FC now intends to sell its current home at Pittodrie for housing.