Major renovations have been proposed for Ballater as part of a plan to boost tourism, five years after it was devastated by flooding.
Large parts of the Aberdeenshire village were left submerged for days when Storm Frank swept the region in December 2015.
Torrential rain caused the River Dee to burst its banks, swamping homes and businesses and causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
Now a major planning application has been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council, in the hopes of revitalising the area and making it more attractive for both residents and visitors.
The Ballater Enhancement Group says it has already secured funding for the work, and just needs permission from the local authority to start making the changes.
The total cost of the transformation is expected to be about £160,000.
It will include a raft of measures such as new signposts, seating and a wooden shelter around the village greens to make it “more achievable” to enjoy the “highly popular” spaces.
A new tree will be planted to act as a focal point for the area, which can be decorated with Christmas lights every year.
A “signage hub” is proposed for Station Square, offering visitors directions and further information about all of Ballater’s major landmarks and attractions.
Elsewhere, it plans to revitalise village flower beds with new species to provide “all-year-round colour and interest”.
This will include the area around the Victorian drinking fountain opposite Glenmuick Church, which will feature a sensory garden and water feature.
“Heritage”-style lamps, the reintroduction of cast iron railings around the fountain monument, new pathways and repairs to Ballater’s so-called “Auld Mannie’s” Hut on the green are also mentioned in the plans.
The aim is to revive the once popular place, where locals used to get together for “a game of cards or domino”, and give it a “fresh and bright” look.
Anne Reid of Ballater Enhancement Group said the transformation would be “uplifting” for locals and “welcoming” for visitors.
She said: “The Greens have always been well-utilised by local residents, so all of these major renovations have been on our agenda with high priority ever since the storm.
“We know it’s a huge project that would require a lot of work, but everybody so far has been so enthusiastic and fully on board with it.
“The aim is to transform the village greens and make them a memorable destination, and a place where people will want to return to on a regular basis.”
“The proposed renovations will not only make Ballater a bright and welcoming place once again, but also promote the businesses that were severely damaged in the flooding and boost the local economy.
“We want to create a really positive and vibrant place to encourage both locals and tourists to spend more time in the centre of the village and enjoy themselves.
“With all that has happened, it would be really nice to see our village buzzing with life and positive energy, because at the end of the day – we are doing this to bring a smile on people’s faces and make them happy.”
What do the Ballater plans propose?
Replacement of some grass with all-weather gravel
New tables and benches
Improved flower beds and a sensory garden
A “living tree” which can be decorated at Christmas
Cast iron railings replaced
Auld Mannie’s Hut
Repainting and minor repairs
New kitchen sink
Sign renovations for village greens and Golf Road
Notice board for Bridge Street
“Signage hub” offering local information at Station Square