Plans to reopen an historic art deco swimming pool have been thrown a life line.
Aberdeen’s iconic Bon Accord Baths, which first opened on Justice Mill Lane in 1940, was shut in 2008 due to council cuts and has lain abandoned ever since.
In the years since its closure, the Bon Accord Heritage group has actively campaigned to reopen the facility.
Two years ago the organisation commissioned a study to determine if the structure of the building had fallen victim to alkali silica reactions – a condition known as concrete cancer, which affects older buildings.
The group initially feared that if the structural fault was found to be too widespread, proposals to restore the site to its former glory would be sunk.
But the results of the investigation have now shown that such worries were unfounded, and the concrete cancer has not affected nearly as much of the baths as expected.
In areas of the building where investigators thought the fault could have spread as deep as 2.5 inches into the structure, they instead found it had only penetrated about 0.2 inches.
Craig Adams from the heritage group said: “We’ve got a swimming pool here that we would like to restore to absolute pristine condition, and for it to remain an art deco pool.
“If the concrete cancer had gone right through the steelwork then it would be cost prohibitive even from a charitable point of view, but the building can be saved.
“What we’re putting together is the outline of a business plan.
“A swimming pool will never cover its own costs, it’s more of a public amenity.
“We’re quite fortunate with this building, in that it’s two parts – we’ve got the front part which isn’t a pool which is on three floors, and what we’re looking at doing is putting facilities in there that will generate a surplus, and we’re looking to use those to subsidise the operation of the pool.
“We want to keep this offering at the front as something that will be cohesive with the pool, so we’re thinking of things that are health and fitness based.
“We’re just on the verge of signing a memorandum of understanding with the council, and if they like that, off the back of that we can then apply for funding to do feasibility studies and market research, and if all of that works out, then we can apply for funding for a fully worked out business plan.”