Plans to bring an adult gaming centre to the site of a former Aberdeen cinema have been approved.
It will be located in the former Ponden Home Interiors store which has lain empty for some time and once housed the Gaumont Cinema, which closed in 1973.
Planned to operate under the Merkur Slots name, the national chain currently trades 162 sites across the UK.
The adult gaming centre will host gambling machines such as slot machines, which can be used for over 18s.
Applicant Cashino Gaming has said that the biggest misconception of adult gaming centres are the view they are betting shops.
It has said that its adult gaming centres are used by people spending spare change, such as playing a game of bingo.
It also added that the average stake made by its customers is around 30p-40p.
Complimentary refreshments such as teas and coffees are provided, and the site does not sell alcohol or allow anyone into the premises who appears to be intoxicated.
It’s anticipated the slot arcades site will create six jobs.
A statement from the applicant on the adult gaming centre said: “The application will return a vacant unit into commercial and productive use, benefitting the local economy. The site is vacant and an extensive marketing exercise has been conducted since this time.
“The unit is currently vacant, contributing nothing to the vitality and viability of the city centre. The introduction of the adult gaming centre will result in a number of benefits including bringing the vacant unit back into use and the associated redecoration of the existing shopfront, high levels of footfall, linked trips and the creation of six jobs.
“The new use will clearly complement the surrounding shops and other commercial premises and the proposal will assist in diversifying Union Street’s offer.”
In approving the adult gaming centre application, planning officers at Aberdeen City Council said: “The proposed change of use would see a new commercial leisure use that would enhance the evening-time economy offering and footfall in the city centre.
“Although the proposed use is contrary to the council’s harmony of uses supplementary guidance, which states that amusement arcades should not be sited within the same building as residential uses, the applicant’s noise impact assessment demonstrates that the proposed use would not harm the amenity of any neighbouring uses, including potential residential use.”
The site had been marketed for letting, however, there’s been no interest from retailers since November 2017.
The upper floors of the building were also recently given planning permission to convert the empty former NHS offices, which previously occupied the site, into flats.
Glasgow-based developer Sava Estates is behind the plans, which include a mix of studios and apartments with one, two or three bedrooms, each with its own designated parking space.