CNPA offers temporary new home for centre after Ballater blaze

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The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has stepped in to save the day by offering Visit Scotland a new home following the devastating fire earlier this week.

The fire at the Old Royal Station in Ballater destroyed the building in the early hours of Tuesday, May 12, leaving the tourist information centre without premises.

The VisitScotland staff will move across the road today (Friday, May 15) after the CNPA offered the organisation a temporary home in their office.

Discussions are underway with regards to a long term solution.

Grant Moir, CNPA chief executive said: “The fire at the Old Royal Station is devastating for the whole community. It was an iconic building in the heart of Royal Deeside and we are shocked by what has happened. However, life and business have to continue and we are happy to make space for the Ballater VisitScotland Information Centre staff who will join a small Park Authority and Marr Area Partnership team.”

Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “We are immensely grateful to the Cairngorms National Park Authority staff for their generous offer of accommodation.”

The information service will be open today from 2pm to 4pm then from 10am to 5pm daily.

Mr Smith added: “Unfortunately, at this time we will be unable to offer a retail, ticketing and booking service from the CNPA office, but will be signposting to the nearby Braemar Information Centre where this is required.

“We are currently making efforts to secure items from the museum and establish a temporary home for the Royal Carriage, which appears to be intact. We will continue to work closely with our colleagues from Aberdeenshire Council and partners to establish the way forward for the Old Royal Station.”

The Old Royal Station is owned by Aberdeenshire Council and has been leased to VisitScotland for the last 15 years.

We are immensely gratefuyl to the Cairngorms National Park Authority Staff for their generous offer of accommodation.

Philip Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Economic Development, Belinda Miller said: “I would like to express our thanks to the Cairngorms National Park Authority in allowing VisitScotland staff to relocate to their offices. Such generosity in the spirit of partnership will allow the community to adjust as we consider the next steps.”

The Ballater VisitScotland Information Centre will still be one of the hubs for this weekend’s Cairngorms Nature Festival at its temporary location within the CNPA offices in Station Square - http://cairngorms.co.uk/look-after/cairngorms-nature/festival.

Photograph by Nicol Rosie.