A new Highland Games centre for Braemar has moved a step closer after planning permission was granted.
The green light was given to plans yesterday and the centre will provide year-round facilities and tell the story of the Games.
The Braemar Gathering, which is attended by members of the Royal Family every year while they holiday at nearby Balmoral, is one of the most famous of all Highland Games.
The new visitor centre will be located in the Princess Royal & Duke of Fife Memorial Park, home to the Gathering in its current format since 1832.
The Braemar Royal Highland Charity are behind the proposals for the new Highland Games Centre building which will include a gallery, exhibition hall, café, gift shop and office as well as general service areas.
Members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority planning committee fully supported the proposals at a meeting in Aviemore yesterday morning. They welcomed the likely economic boost that such a project would bring to the area as well as raising awareness of the cultural heritage that surrounds the Highland Games.
Eleanor Macintosh, planning committee convener for the authority, said: “I fully support this development in Braemar which will add to the array of visitor attractions in Deeside and which promotes the rich cultural heritage of the Cairngorms National Park. I welcome the care that has gone into the design of the building, with it being very sympathetic to the traditional architectural styles found in and around Braemar and I look forward to visiting the Centre on completion.”
David Geddes, President of the Braemar Royal Highland Charity, added: “Following years of planning, the ambitions of the Braemar Royal Highland Charity are coming to fruition with our visitor centre – telling the story of the Braemar Highland Games and the wider games circuit – widely welcomed by the planning committee. I feel this will be a major boost to tourism in Deeside and the National Park and will help the future of the sport and Highland traditions.”