A town centre street will be shut for three months while derelict buildings are upgraded as part of a massive regeneration project.
The run-down buildings on Bridge Street in Banff will be converted into accommodation for visitors using the Smiddy Centre of Excellence for Silversmithing and Jewellery.
The building was redeveloped by Aberdeenshire Council and re-opened as a silversmithing centre last year in an effort to restore part of the town’s history.
It is intended the Smiddy will bring unique visitors to the town as well as creating jobs and offering a range of courses for community groups, beginners, and established artists.
And now plans are in the pipeline to turn two B-listed properties – which have been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2010, into townhouses for guests.
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North East Scotland Preservation Trust will carry out the ambitious works, which is expected to take three months.
Bridge Street, between Low Street and Reid Street, will be closed to traffic from February 20 for the duration.
Councillor Andy Kille, chairman of the Banff and Buchan area committee, said: “This is fantastic news for the area.
“The investment will positively affect the local perception of the town as well as attracting visitors and businesses from further afield.
“It is encouraging to see the council and the community working together to continue to improve Banff.”
Local councillor Glen Reynolds, who is also on the NESPT board, added: “This is a great example of collaborative working between a local regeneration initiative, the Bridge Street plan and housing needs.
“It is a fine example of partnership working at its best.
“The period of closure to traffic is a necessary consequence and whilst there will be some pain, the long term benefits will be well worth it.”
Meanwhile, the Smiddy has been shortlisted for the Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.