MP & MSP seek support from Scottish government following Ballater fire

Fire at the Old Station in Ballater this morning
Fire at the Old Station in Ballater this morning

Stuart Donaldson MP and Dennis Robertson MSP will be contacting the Minister for Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP to ask what support can be provided from the Scottish Government for Ballater following the fire that destroyed the old station this morning.

Stuart Donaldson MP said: “Quite simply this is a tragedy for the Ballater Community. The one thing we can all be thankful for, is that no one has been injured and I believe that’s thanks to the invaluable dedication of the retained fire crews who attended the fire.

“I understand that it is too early to determine the full extent of the damage but I have no doubt that a community as strong as Ballater will pull together to move forward.”

Dennis Robertson MSP added: “The damage the fire has caused is devastating, although Ballater railway station closed in 1966 it has been a popular tourist attraction for many years, the visitor centre with an exhibition recording the village’s royal connection is a very popular destination for tourists who visit Royal Deeside.

“I think the important thing to remember is that although the building may be damaged, possibly beyond repair, the history of the railway station can be enjoyed by the memories which people have. My thanks as always are passed on to the retained fire crews involved.”

In response to the fire in Ballater this morning, an Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “The Old Royal Station is a council-owned building which has been leased to VisitScotland for a number of years. Council officers are working with our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to assess the extent of the damage and secure the building. Station Square will remain closed until further notice.

“The council understands the importance of the building both historically and in terms of the local economy and will be supporting VisitScotland in ensuring the Visitor Information Centre and undamaged displays can relocate to a suitable venue nearby.”

Upper Deeside Councillor Cllr Katrina Farquhar: “Proud of our retained fire men in Ballater. Absolutely devastated what a loss.”