A national chain of gaming halls could move into a listed Aberdeen building, which once housed a popular city cinema.
Cashino Gaming has lodged plans for an adult gaming centre in 181a Union Street, once the Gaumont Cinema.
And the council has been urged to back the proposals to bring “vitality and vibrancy” back to a stretch of the Granite Mile property experts say is in decline, “despite their best efforts”.
On Tuesday, an application for a bingo hall licence was granted by Aberdeen Licensing Board for the address.
If planning permission is granted, Cashino would operate the B-listed venue, next door to a betting shop, as Merkur Slots.
The brand describes itself as a “new, up-and-coming brand in the UK, bringing the latest fun slots and bingo experience in smaller-sized high street locations”.
Bosses claim the new venture would create six jobs.
Formerly Ponden Homes, consultants Planning Potential, the shop unit is in “inertia”, and urged the local authority to back the plans to bring the vacant store back into use.
William Rogers, who prepared the application with the council, said: “The proposals will breathe a new lease of life into the ground floor.
“An operating adult gaming centre will also enhance the attractiveness of the wider area and potentially lead to a further investment.
“Potential occupiers, such as Cashino Gaming, who are willing to invest must be supported, particularly given the current economic climate and well-documented struggles and challenges that centres are currently facing, reflected in the number of vacancies along Union Street.
“The principle of the proposed change of use is entirely acceptable and the proposal will protect and enhance the vitality and vibrancy of this part of the city centre.”
The Gaumont closed in 1973, operating for decades as a cinema – originally called The Picture House.
The historic venue is within the Union Street Conservation Area, but Mr Rogers argued the change of use would diversify and benefit the city’s main thoroughfare.
Shepherd chartered surveyors have revealed there has been no interest in the building from retailers since November 2017 – despite the rent being lowered from £92,000 a year down to around £30,000.
Supporting the application, partner Mark McQueen said: “Not only as the letting agent but an Aberdonian, I am eager to see a number of properties on our main street let to improve the vibrancy of the city centre.
“Despite our best efforts, it is clear this section of Union Street is in decline from a retail perspective and a change of use is required to secure occupation of the unit to hopefully assist neighbouring occupiers and vacant units alike.”