A beleaguered Aberdeenshire tourist attraction has gone on the market.
The Archaeolink pre-history park at Oyne, near Insch, closed its doors four years ago after failing to attract the visitors that were promised would come.
Now Aberdeenshire Council has instructed property agents Ryden to market the five-and-a-half acre site.
No asking price has been published, as the authority wants prospective buyers to instead make offers.
The pre-history park has been divided into two separate lots for the sale, allowing buyers to consider them separately or together.
The first plot is just over two acres, and has been earmarked in the local development plan for up to 10 houses.
The remaining land, which features Archaeolink’s visitor centre and 40-space car park, has been “safeguarded for employment purposes”.
Oyne Community Association – who had their bid to secure the site through a community asset transfer rejected – said yesterday they would be interested to see who snapped up the site.
Vice-chairwoman Kit Pawson said: “We as a community will be very interested to see what is going to happen to the Archaeolink site.”
Andrew Smith, associate at Ryden, said: “Since the tourist attraction closed in 2011 the site has been vacant, therefore we look forward to identifying the right purchaser to bring it back into use.
“Various employment and leisure uses have been discussed and our client is keen to explore all appropriate avenues.”
Earlier this year the Garioch area committee agreed the attraction should be put on the open market, but asked that they got the chance to discuss any bids before a final buyer is approved by the policy and resources committee.
Last night Garioch area committee chairman Fergus Hood said: “Having considered a range of options since its closure, we are pleased to see this site on the open market and look forward to receiving a report in due course outlining any bids received.
“Offering the site for sale was considered to be the best way forward for the council and I hope a buyer can be found who will make the best of the opportunities afforded by it.”
Archaeolink was hailed as a flagship attraction when it opened in 1997.
But the museum failed to attract the visitors required to make it sustainable, and the local authority put forward £2.5million subsidies before finally pulling out in 2011.