The historic headquarters of an Aberdeen university will undergo a £1.5million transformation into offices under new plans to revive the famous site.
The Robert Gordon University (RGU) administration building, on Schoolhill, was built in 1885 and has been listed as Category A in terms of significance by Historic Scotland.
The 20,000sq ft structure was home to Gray’s School of Art until it moved to RGU’s Garthdee campus in the 1960s and has gradually become vacant.
However, a development group has tendered proposals to lease it and bring it back into full use for modern firms as of next spring.
Opportunity North East (One) has now asked Aberdeen City Council for its permission to alter the listed building and create its One Digital and Entrepreneurship Hub.
It aims to provide a mix of hot desking, co-working and office space.
The group’s chairman, Sir Ian Wood, believes the building will prove key to “long-term regional economic renaissance”.
Sir Ian added: “This is investing in activity and a dedicated space to support digital cluster growth in the region.
“The development will provide a focal point for digital tech business incubation and growth, and wider entrepreneurship activity.”
Papers lodged with the council state that ceilings and walls need to be demolished to bring the 19th century building “back to a usable standard”.
The application form says that the original design will be maintained and “some of the key features that have been lost or hidden” will be highlighted.
A design statement by George Watt and Stewart architects adds: “Owing the ongoing development of the adjacent art gallery, returning the building to use will contribute to a newly regenerated street frontage and the renewal of important built heritage.”
Gordon McConnell, vice-principal of commercial and regional innovation at RGU, said he was looking forward to the building being “reinvigorated”.
He said: “We share an ambitious vision with One to drive digital and entrepreneurship activities in the region, to support company creation and growth.”
Edinburgh-based initiative, CodeBase, is planning to take up space in the venue to help start-up firms flourish.
Its chief strategy officer, Steven Drost, said: “CodeBase is proud and excited to come to Aberdeen.
“Having a strong partner in One means that we can get straight to work helping start-ups grow, and we will also be there for established businesses.”