The sale of Aberdeenshire Council’s Arbuthnot House Buchan area headquarters in Peterhead has been approved by local councillors.
The 1798 Category B-listed former gentleman’s mansion housed the Buchan Area Office and regularly hosted Buchan Area Committee meetings.
At its last ever meeting in the chamber in April, the committee agreed to sell to an expanding local firm keen to stay in the area and make best use of the building.
Construction of the council’s new Buchan House offices at St Peter Street is now complete and staff recently left Arbuthnot House for the last time.
It is in the heart of the outstanding conservation area near the harbour and the deal includes the neighbouring property at 60 Broad Street.
The buildings have been on the market with a combined asking price of over £450,000 since June last year, with the council trying to strike a balance between the final sale price and the intended use of the premises.
The local firm needs larger office premises having outgrown its current accommodation and has further employment-led plans for expansion.
Buchan Area Committee chairman, Stuart Pratt, said: “We believe this sale will significantly benefit the future of the buildings and, most importantly, the vibrancy of this area of Peterhead and the centre of Peterhead generally.
“It is really pleasing in particular to see a strong local business showing interest in the future of a local building of importance to the community and pledging to invest in and maintain it.”
Vice-chair Anne Allan said: “Our hope is that this will further encourage the regeneration of Lower Broad Street and provide a catalyst for further investment in the locale.”
The Buchan Area Committee considered the sale during a private session at a meeting in Peterhead to protect the commercial interests of both parties.
In such a prominent location in a town subject to regeneration efforts, it was considered important for the buildings to be used for a suitable purpose.
Council officers said they were happy with the proposals being put forward and will assist the firm where they can to achieve its aims.
The iconic Arbuthnot House and the neighbouring building are among a number of properties being marketed by Aberdeenshire Council in Peterhead following the move into the new area headquarters on the town’s St. Peter Street.
The new building has transformed a derelict and brownfield site and the move is expected to realise savings of around £378,000 a year on the running costs of both owned and leased properties.
It is a hub for both employees and residents, operating as a one-stop-shop for customers to access 16 different services.