Prince serves up a helping hand to flood-hit villagers

The Duke of Rothesay launched plans to turn the former Co-op building in the village into a pop-up shop to help boost visitor numbers in the region. Picture: TSPL

The Duke of Rothesay launched plans to turn the former Co-op building in the village into a pop-up shop to help boost visitor numbers in the region. Picture: TSPL

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Prince Charles is to bring his Highgrove brand to Royal Deeside when he opens up a new restaurant in Ballater in the autumn.

The Duke of Rothesay launched plans to turn the former Co-op building in the village into a pop-up shop to help boost visitor numbers in the region.

Devastating floods ripped through the village leaving a trail of destruction in the wake of Storm Frank earlier this year.

Residents were evacuated and many properties lay empty for months as buildings were left to dry out, with shopkeepers losing substantial sums of money.

Architects have been busy drawing up plans for a dining area with 11 tables and a shop, modelled on his English outlets selling luxury goods.

Plans to transform the building on Netherley Place were submitted to Aberdeenshire Council last week and the shop could be open by September if they are approved.

Profits from the business will go to charity.

Kenneth Dunsmuir, administrative director at Dumfries House, said: “The opening of the restaurant and shop has taken a little longer than we had hoped, but we did want to get it absolutely right.

“Designs have been finalised and local builders and architects have given their time free of charge to support this charitable initiative.

“The charity is thrilled to have received so much support from the council and the community and hopes to announce in the coming weeks the timetable for delivery of this project, which is subject to building regulations and authority planning.

“We hope that the new facility will be open for business by September.”

Prince Charles set up an appeal through one of his charities to help flood victims in Scotland earlier this year.

Crathie Community Council chairman Jim Anderson said the shop and restaurant would be good for the village.

He said: “Ballater has been hit hard, as everyone knows, and anything that will bring tourists into the village is a good thing.

“Prince Charles has invested a lot of time in helping getting the village going again, it is good to see that he has committed for the future.

“His cafe will obviously be a draw for people to come here.”

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