Old Royal Station to rise from the ashes

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.

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A £3million plan has been unveiled to reinstate Ballater’s Old Royal Station.

The historic building - once used by the Royal family visiting Balmoral - was destroyed by fire last year.

After months of discussion it is fantastic to see the reality of the planning application

Councillor Geva Blackett Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Now plans have been lodged to rebuild the landmark and have a revamped public square in front of the station.

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

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

The Old Station will now be recreated including a VisitScotland information centre, public library and restaurant, as well as the waiting room and carriage.

The new public square will link it to the nearby Victoria and Albert Halls and create a destination point for the Deeside Way.

Marr Area Manager Janelle Clark said: “The rebuilding of the Royal Station and development of the public square will act as a key project in the wider economic recovery of 
Ballater and surrounding area.

“The aspiration was to create an integrated facility, allowing a more open internal space which will help create an enhanced community, cultural and heritage offering, providing a real focal point for visitors and the local community.”

Local councillor Geva Blackett said: “After months of discussion it is fantastic to see the reality of the planning application.

“While keeping to the original design on the outside, the building inside is innovative and airy - we will have a visitor facility and library fit for the 21st century and have a much-loved cafe back again too.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed that the building will be open as quickly as possible.”

Planning permission is now being sought from the Cairngorms National Park Authority and it is hoped that if granted, work could start on site in November, with the station and exhibition space expected to be open towards the end of 2017.