Plans to redevelop fire-ravaged Ballater Station have moved forward.
The historic landmark was destroyed by a fierce blaze in May last year.
Policy and resources councillors have agreed to the estimated cost of re-instatement and signalled the start of the planning process which will see the project included in the council’s capital plan.
The aim is to have the station reopened in December next year.
It is proposed to have a “front of house” VisitScotland facility, a relocated community library, exhibition space, and a restaurant.
The B-Listed station was historically used by Royals travelling to Balmoral.
Following the fire investigation and the installation of a temporary structure, efforts have been focusing particularly on safeguarding the Royal waiting room and replica Royal carriage.
Policy and resources committee chair Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes said: “Due to the importance of this building, not only within the community but also at a national historical level, it is essential that the committee were fully updated on this project.
“I am pleased to give the committee’s backing to moving it on to the next stage which will send a really positive message that Ballater is open for business.”
It is hoped that work can begin this December.