Plans for a new hotel and restaurant in the heart of Fraserburgh have been approved.
The former Clydesdale bank and John Trail Bookshop on the town’s Mid Street will be transformed by the North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT).
The group, which works to bring derelict, disused and redundant Aberdeenshire buildings back to life, have been given full planning permission for the project by Aberdeenshire Council planning chiefs.
Project manager Paul Higson teased that the group have secured a “local hotel operator” to run the building but was unable to reveal who.
He said: “We’ve got planning permission for a hotel with 11 en-suite bedrooms, one that is fully accessible, and a small cafe restaurant facility.
“We look at derelict buildings and try to find a viable new use for them.
“As a hotel we will make a contribution to the town generating employment and footfall for other businesses.
“It’s a long process to develop the project but hopefully in the first half of next year we will start on sit with the physical work to the buildings.
“We’re hoping to capitalise on the lack of other hotel accommodation and the increasing visitors, tourists and business people.”
There are fewer than 10 hotels and guesthouses in Fraserburgh.
Local councillor Charles Buchan said it was “great” news that the new life would be brought into the town centre.
He said: “Fraserburgh has a great shortage of hotel rooms, and that has held back some activities and events coming here, with loss of revenue to town businesses so these extra rooms will enhance Fraserburgh’s offering.”
Other councillors said they were excited about the prospects the development may bring.
Doreen Mair said she is “absolutely delighted” and “can’t wait to see the finished result”.
She said: “Many people have worked extremely hard, over an extended period, on getting this project to this stage and I would like to thank them for all their efforts.
“This will be transformational for the town centre and a major step in the regeneration project.”
Brian Topping added that it was an “exciting project” alongside the other regeneration efforts.
Funding for the project is coming from a variety of streams including the Architectural Heritage Fund, Aberdeenshire Town Centre Fund, the council and Fraserburgh 2021.
Councillor and board member for the NESPT, Andy Kille, said: “I’m delighted to see this latest piece of progress in the rehabilitation of this landmark building that over the years previously has declined and become an eyesore – this is a tangible step forward in the regeneration of the building and the wider Fraserburgh town centre.”