Duke to open Ballater bistro

The restoration of the Old Royal Station continues
The restoration of the Old Royal Station continues

The Duke of Rothesay is continuing his efforts to help Ballater recover from damage to retail and tourism caused by flooding and fire.

Prince Charles has already opened the Rothesay Rooms restaurant and the Highgrove shopin the village.

Now he has announced plans for a new bistro and tearoom as part of the redevelopment of the Old Royal Station, which was destroyed by a huge blaze in 2015.

The project, scheduled to open in summer next year, is set to be carried out in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council as part of an outreach programme by The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust.

The trust’s excutive director Kenneth Dunsmuir said: “The objective of our outreach programme is to extend opportunities and lend assistance to communities.

“By playing our part in the restoration of the Old Royal Station at Ballater, we are aiming to bring the village back to its former glory, allow people to gain an insight into the significance of the building, and give tourists another reason to visit beautiful Royal Deeside.”

Marr Area Committee chair Moira Ingleby welcomed the announcement.

She said: “Clearly, Ballater and the surrounding area have long had strong ties to the royal family, as does the station we are so looking forward to reopening.

“To strengthen that association even further and increase Ballater’s offering to locals and visitors at the same time is great news for the area.”

She added: “Ballater has suffered some setbacks in recent years, but this is another really positive contribution to help the village feel even more positive about its future.

“This will be another key asset which will bring visitors from far and wide, enhancing what the new station and the community as a whole have to offer.”

The announcement of the bistro and tearoom comes nearly a year after the opening of The Rothesay Rooms, which has become increasingly popular with both local people and visitors.

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation made a donation in 2016 towards the community effort to restore Ballater Caravan Site following the severe flooding caused by Storm Frank.

Ballater Heritage Society is expected to play a significant role in the restored Old Royal Station building’s development and future use.