It has been 3 years since I founded Greyhope Bay (a charitable company) with the ambition of highlighting our incredible coastal setting and visiting marine wildlife.  I wanted to create space for visitors and the people of Aberdeen to connect with and experience our natural heritage, to imagine more for the city and to be a part of unique project that seeks to put Aberdeen on the map in a way that is authentic to its story and place.

With the help of so many who have resonated with this ambition (namely our architect and unofficial co-founder Gokay Deveci, the Greyhope Bay board and project team, numerous volunteers, incredible sponsors and donors, supporting organisations and the Aberdeen community) we have achieved so much…

  • gala dinners on the beach (crazy that we actually pulled that off – shout out to Kelsey Gocke!)
  • over 3,000 people visiting our marquee by the sea (incredible when on that day the harr sullied the view…)
  • ambitious concept designs for a build with meaning, set in to the landscape and connecting to our coast
  • a pop-up shop and exhibition at the Bon Accord Shopping Centre (designed and delivered with the help and input of 15 students and another 20 volunteers)
  • business plans and planning surveys, stakeholder buy-in and support
  • community ownership

All of which has led and informed our strategy to open on site the first phase of the project in 2019 with a wildlife watching platform and cafe as a unique opportunity to provide immediate facility, engage communities, test ideas and build audience.

As we continue to push forward I will be writing a blog post every two weeks about my experience running the project and trying to get Greyhope Bay off the ground – highs and lows.

Tune in and buckle up friends!

Check out my first blog post DIGGING HOLES and SIGN UP to keep up to date!

You may have seen the news –

Greyhope Bay have been granted planning permission for our ‘Dolphins at the Battery’ project – a viewing platform, exhibit space, and coffee point at Torry Battery to be created using repurposed shipping containers that could now be open as early as June this year.

– click link to see the Press and Journal Article and read more.

And it feels big.

It is big.

Emotional even.

Emotional because of the energy invested to navigate the twists and turns. Energy that has been maintained and fuelled by incredible people that have come along this journey with me, sharing generously their time and expertise to get Greyhope Bay to this significant step. 

Networkers, engineers, creatives, leaders, marketeers, planners, accountants, architects, designers, archaeologists, ecologists, historians, office mates.

Yesterday I was joined by two of them taking in the view and visualising the realisation of our plans. Architect and co-founder Gokay Deveci (Scott Sutherland School) a believer from the start and Bryan Gray (Dynamix Modular) who takes on the conversion of our shipping containers.

And I felt thankful, thankful to them for braving the wind…

And thankful to all those that have helped us make our mark and moved the seeds of an idea to a tangible reality – in the top image Gokay stands on the exact footprint of our project!

We cannot wait to continue to build our community of support and with the collective effort of the city of Aberdeen we can make it happen! 

My it has been an exciting few weeks! 

We got out there and shared our planned move to Torry Battery with ‘Dolphins at the Battery’ (a phased development that will provide immediate facility in 2019 with a wildlife watching platform and cafe and a unique way to bring an historic monument back to life).

And you lot sure got excited, with an emphatic thumbs up to our plans as we graced the front pages of papers and fluttered across social media, TV and radio. 

It was the work in the background that made it happen. 

Going live with our plans was tied to reaching a significant milestone to delivery – submitting a full planning application. Working back from an open date of June 2019, the deadline was set for planning submission and press statements, and my god our team and supporters know how to pull together and get stuck in! They enabled the project at every turn. 

This is the crux of the project’s success, a massive collective effort and community of support by those who are led by a resonance with the Greyhope Bay concept (re-imagining and re-shaping Aberdeen’s connection to our coast and natural heritage), imagining more for the city and offering heart, hard work and expertise to contribute and be a part of making it happen.

This was proved again as the plans went out far and wide, with organisations across the city reaching out offering help in-kind, and physical contributions.

Before we break for the festive season, we wanted to thank each and every one of you for your contributions, feedback, insight and support to reach this significant milestone – it has been quite an amazing year thanks to you!

We also wanted to brief you on our ‘Christmas Wish List’ and how you can contribute in 2019 so that together we can get this done.

Let’s go all out ‘Challenge Anneka’ style with a community project delivered by the collective effort of the city of Aberdeen.

With consent procedures in process place, we’re turning to the wider community to help knock a few items off our list, can you make a contribution and play an active part in the project? 

  • containers for conversion (2 x 40ft)
  • timber for cladding and decking
  • glazing
  • solar panels
  • outdoor furniture

Get in touch if you think you can help!

A big thank you and Merry Christmas!

Bring on 2019!

You plan and you plan and you plan, you keep things moving, and then suddenly your plan is put in to sharp focus and things ramp up quickly.

This is actually when I am at my best, executing the plan, under pressure and with a short window of opportunity. 

We are going to be on site next year, we actually have the real and tangible opportunity to deliver Greyhope Bay (phase one). The holes that we dug a few weeks ago (DIGGING HOLES) have given us the last few pieces of the puzzle.

I wanted to give you all the heads up as we prepare to unveil our plans later this week (while I have a spare minute). This week we will share;

  • how the first phase is designed;
  • where it will be and;
  • how you can be a part of the project

A heads up because the work the team have been doing these past 6 months has been very much shaped by the emphatic response from our followers

(people who in their literal thousands fed back enthusiasm and ideas at our pop-up shop and exhibition)

informing our approach to design, choice of site and inspiring partners to come together to deliver on the ambition of connecting Aberdeen to our marine world.

It is thanks to you people, and I cannot wait to execute the plan with you all.

Ready to go!

This past week saw the team reach a significant moment in the project – digging holes. Holes that are necessary procedure to understand the condition of the site, informing the design, foundations and supporting our planning application. A feat which inches us forward to delivering the first phase of Greyhope Bay – a viewing platform and cafe and a new connection to our coast.

And yet in the moment I’m not sure I took it in.

This project can be all consuming, trying to keep things moving, spinning endless plates, so it was only on reflection that I realised the significance of the day.

We dug a hole – an actual physical hole – we did something physical and visible…for a brief moment before we back filled the holes…but we did it.

A moment that would not have happened without the perseverance and community of support that has built around this project over the past 3 years. The result of months of planning, and many years of dreaming, we achieved this small but significant moment.

A site altered by our purpose.

And what we got from digging holes was a whole lot more than drainage rates and soil type.

On that day, standing on site with me, was a digger man, an engineer, an archaeologist and architect, there for the project, excited to be a part of it, musing on its significance, inspired by its beauty and as a result, invested in its outcome.

The process connected the team with the site in a new way. We dug into its potential and discovered its realities, testing the design and form of our development not only for its construction but also for the visitor experience.  A team newly bonded by a deeper understanding of Greyhope Bay’s purpose – connecting our city with our marine world.

I had only thought about digging holes that day, and yet it was in the act of doing that we gained so much.