An historic Deeside railway station destroyed in a blaze will be rebuilt, the council has said.
The Old Royal Station in Ballater – used by Queen Victoria on her trips to nearby Balmoral Castle – went up in flames on May 12.
Locals feared the building, which a railway museum, restaurant, visitor centre and businesses, called for it to be rebuilt and described it as the “centrepiece” of the village.
Now Aberdeenshire Council has said it is committed to rebuilding the B-listed structure, retaining original features wherever possible.
It is meeting to discuss the proposals with Historic Scotland, which has to be consulted due to the listed status.
Janelle Clark, of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Any plans for a rebuild of the Old Royal Station will require listed building consent to ensure the new building remains appropriate and sympathetic to its original character and we are working with colleagues in planning and with Historic Scotland to establish the next steps.
“We understand the local community is keen to see this wonderful building restored but this is the start of what will be a long process and I ask for their patience as we work to create the most appropriate plan of action going forward.”
Nearly 50 firefighters worked for three hours to tackle the flames as distraught locals looked on.
Although much of the wooden building was destroyed, the crews did manage to save a replica of the railway carriage used by Queen Victoria on her trips to Aberdeenshire.
The council said conditional and structural surveys of the building have been carried out and an assessment is being made of what can be salvaged, while contractors have been on site to make the building safe.
Once the way forward has been agreed it is likely to take between 18-24 months to reconstruct, depending on the scope of the works.
Arrangements are being made to accommodate the museum’s undamaged display cases elsewhere temporarily, while the visitor information centre has been temporarily moved to the Cairngorm National Park Authority offices in Ballater.
An ongoing police and fire investigation has yet to determine the cause of the fire.