SUPPORTERS of a transformational proposal to build a cable car from Aberdeen’s new harbour to the city centre are seeking to raise £15,000 to fund a feasibility study.

Sceptics question the wisdom of suspending cable cars filled with passengers over a busy industrial harbour where hydrocarbons are stored and which is often subject to gale force winds.

However, the concept has persisted since it first emerged as a “crazy” proposal at a business conference in the city in 2018. Supporters and sceptics alike are keen to see if a study by engineering firm Arup could provide the initial blueprint for investment in a project whose costs are yet to be estimated, but which could deliver an ambitious and iconic addition for a city keen to highlight its appeal to the world.

The proposal comes as Aberdeen Harbour Board nears completion of the £350m expansion of South Harbour, which is set to welcome industrial activity from decommissioning and offshore wind, but which is also being aimed at the global cruise market.

Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC), highlighted the plans to seek funding for the cable car plan at business event in Aberdeen yesterday [Thurs].

He said the plan “may seem a bit crazy” but it “ticks many boxes”.

He said: “It could be powered by offshore wind energy. It could transport up to 3,000 passengers per hour including a park and fly facility and a direct and scenic route for cruise ship passengers docking at the new harbour to come into Aberdeen via the beach and Castlegate, supporting regeneration of those parts of the city. It would be our iconic attraction - we don't have Kelpies or an Angel of the North - this could be ours."

The proposal initially emerged out a of an event led by AGCC, called Vanguard, which consulted people from across the region to workshop ideas that could rejuvenate the city and inspire civic pride.

Chris Smith, an architect at Davison Smith Partnership, a contributor to Vanguard and whose CAD drawings first fired imaginations about the cable car proposal said: “With the new south harbour soon to open and the cruise ships on their way, we feel this is a huge opportunity to bring thousands of people directly into the Castlegate, on a new and exciting, sustainable mode of transport, as a way to rejuvenate the area, including Union Street, through increased footfall.”

Borthwick said that Vanguard, an “independent, voluntary movement”, was looking to raise £15,000 from businesses and other supporters to fund the feasibility study “to understand whether the scheme has financial and practical merit”.

Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, the region’s destination management organisation (DMO), said: "We welcome creative thinking about attractions that will boost Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire's profile and appeal to leisure and business visitors alike."