A derelict A-listed building designed by Aberdeen’s most famous architect could be transformed into a tea room and community facility.
The Save Westburn House Action Group has been established to try and take over the 1839 property in Westburn Park for the good of local residents.
The building, which was designed by renowned architect Archibald Simpson, has fallen into a state of severe disrepair after lying empty for nearly two decades.
Its roof has begun to cave in and it has been repeatedly targeted by vandals, while a significant part of its structure is simply crumbling.
Although £1 million revamp plans were put forward in 2004, ultimately the proposals to convert it into a new office for the city’s registrars amounted to nothing.
And in 2016, councillors approved plans for the Elgin-based company Liberty Kids to turn it into a nursery, but again, the plans proved unsuccessful.
But now Gavin Esslemont, the chairman of the action group, has revealed new plans to bring Westburn Park back to life as a tea room.
He said: “We’ve set up a community group, essentially to get our hands on Westburn House.
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“I’ve been in conversations with the council over the last twelve months to discuss the prospect of our group taking ownership of it.
“Initially, we’re aiming to carry out feasibility studies before looking into getting funding to help bring the property back into use as a tea room and community space.
“We’ve already got a variety of people coming forward to say they want to help, so the movement is getting some traction.
“Now we need to prove our worth to the council and show we’re the right people to take it on.”
Mr Esslemont added: “The Bonnymuir Bowling Green project nearby has been successful so far, so we’re hoping to follow that model.
“My ultimate goal is to celebrate the history of this building and bring it back to its former glory, for the good of the community.”
Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie added: “I think it is great that Gavin has established this action group, and his vision to finally bring this vitally important historic building back into use is fantastic news for Aberdeen.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “We carried out a structural inspection of Westburn House in November 2018 and we are currently awaiting details of costings before we market the property for long-term lease.”