Aberdeenshire hotel gutted by fire could reopen by spring

19 October 2015 by
Aberdeenshire hotel gutted by fire could reopen by spring

A historic Victorian hotel in Aberdeenshire, which suffered serious damage in a fire earlier this year, could reopen by spring - according to the Press and Journal.

On 20 February, around 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at the 127-year-old Darroch Learg hotel in Ballater.

Flames broke out on the second floor of the B-listed building, which is owned by Nigel and Fiona Franks. Firefighters worked overnight to save the property, and the couple vowed to reopen it as soon as possible.

The building was empty at the time of the fire as it was undergoing refurbishment work.

Clearance work was completed in late August and in the last few months photos have been uploaded on the hotel's Facebook page showing the progress.

New roof beams have now been put in place and the rooms are beginning to take shape.

According to local councillors the hotel could reopen as early as March next year.

Ballater councillor Katrina Farquhar said: "Things are progressing well; the aim is still to reopen and get it up and running in March. That would be really good for the village and the staff.

"The Darroch Learg's restaurant was the only high-class restaurant really in Ballater. That is really missed. Even the accommodation is missed. It must have been absolutely gutting for them to lose them both."

Fellow councillor Geva Blackett added: "The Darroch Learg is an iconic hotel and its loss has been felt far and wide. That it will be up and running again early next year is fantastic for visitors, locals and the areas businesses alike."

The Franks suffered another blow just a few months later when Ballater's old Royal Station was also lost to a fire, destroying their Station Restaurant with it.

The couple, whose family have run the hotel for more than 50 years, could not be reached for comment.

Aberdeenshire hotel damaged in fire >>

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