Ballater station plan moves forward

An artist's impression of the new station with the revamped public square
An artist's impression of the new station with the revamped public square

The redevelopment of Ballater’s Old Royal Station has moved a stage closer.

A £3million plan was unveiled last month to reinstate the historic building, which was destroyed by fire in May last year.

Councillors have now approved the next phase of the project, which includes more detailed proposals for the scheme, the planning application and consultation with communities.

They also agreed at the full council meeting last Thursday to begin the tender process for restoring the building to its former glory.

Parts of the Royal waiting room were salvaged from the ferocious blaze and a replica Royal carriage which had been on display was relatively undamaged.

Plans were lodged last month to rebuild the landmark and have a revamped public square in front of the station.

It is proposed that the new station will house a VisitScotland information centre, a community library, exhibition space, and a restaurant, as well as the retention of the Royal carriage.

Aberdeenshire Provost Councillor Hamish Vernal welcomed the progress.

He said: “Ballater Station is of great importance to our communities and visitors to the region, as well as at a national historical level.

“I am delighted to see the very positive steps being taken to rebuild this important facility and to see the very welcome approach of working in partnership with VisitScotland, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Historic Environment Scotland and the people of Ballater.”

Work is expected to begin in December with the new station opening in December, 2017, to coincide with the Winter Festival.