NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Plan to reinstate Ballater's Old Royal Station unveiled

Artists' impression of Old Royal Station Image copyright Aberdeenshire Council
Image caption An artist's impression of the new station shows a new public square

A £3m plan has been unveiled to reinstate the historic Old Royal Station building in Ballater that was devastated by fire last year.

The Aberdeenshire station was once used by the Royal family when they travelled to nearby Balmoral.

Although no longer used as a rail station, it housed a tourist centre, retail units and a restaurant - all of which were destroyed by the blaze.

Plans have now been submitted that would see the station recreated.

Parts of the Royal Waiting Room were salvaged from the fire and a replica Royal carriage which had been on display was relatively undamaged.

The new planning application would see the station building reinstated - including the VisitScotland information centre, public library and restaurant - as well as the waiting room and carriage.

There would be a new exhibition space extending along the old platform and over the tracks, taking the form of railway sheds.

Image caption Very little survived the fire which engulfed the building in May 2015

A new public square is proposed in front of the station, linking it to the nearby Victoria and Albert Halls and creating a destination point for the Deeside Way.

The plans have been submitted to the Cairngorms National Park Authority by Aberdeenshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland and a firm of architects.

It is hoped that work could start in November, with the station and exhibition space expected to be open towards the end of 2017.

Originally built in 1866, the station underwent a complete refurbishment in 2001 and was leased by Aberdeenshire Council to VisitScotland.

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