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Developers stress commitment to transforming Aberdeen school despite uncertainty over fire damage

Developers have stressed their “strong commitment” towards bringing a historic Aberdeen school back to life despite uncertainty surrounding the damage it suffered in a fire.

The roof of the former Victoria Road School, which closed in 2008, partly fell in on Friday when a blaze ripped through the derelict site.

Investigators are yet to be given access to the Torry building, which dates back to 1878, to examine the full circumstances surrounding the fire.

Security at Aberdeen’s historic properties must be ‘paramount’ following tragic Victoria Road School blaze

And demolition work might be required before they can safely enter to carry out assessments.

But the Torry Development Trust has spent years trying to bring the school back into use as accommodation and community facilities and members of the community group, along with Grampian Housing Association representatives, have now met council bosses to map out the best way forward.

A local authority spokeswoman said that the two bodies made clear their determination to see their ambitions through despite the setback.

She said: “Grampian Housing Association still intends to purchase the site and there is a strong commitment from the partners to progress with this redevelopment.

“It will bring much-needed affordable housing to the area, along with community facilities and a nursery which there is a need for.

“Grampian Housing Association and Torry Development Trust are taking independent professional advice about a full range of safeguarding measures and these will be discussed with the council.”

More than 40 firefighters and six appliances were called to the disused school at 9am on Friday.

Video: Roof collapses at historic Victoria Road school as fire crews battle blaze

Police have maintained a presence at the spot since, which is still being treated as a potential crime scene.

Torry Development Trust and Grampian Housing Association were expecting to take ownership of the building, which remains under council ownership, by the end of the month.

It has been the target of vandals and fire-raisers since it closed more than a decade ago.

Gavin Esslemont, chairman of the Save Westburn House Action Group, has appealed for the local authority to do all it can to prevent similar blazes taking place at other derelict sites in Aberdeen.

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