The team behind efforts to save historic Aberdeen baths have been granted more time.
The Save Bon Accord Baths team are working to “secure, improve and save” the beloved art deco building on Justice Mill Lane, and are now in the final stages of agreeing an extended licence to occupy the building.
However, vandals have caused yet more damage to the baths, which has been closed since 2008.
As a result, money that should be spent on improving and restoring the building is instead being spent on repair works.
Bon Accord Heritage trustee Steven Cooper said: “We’re looking to extend the licence to the end of April at the moment.
“That’s after we had the licence to occupy for seven weeks from August, which led us to do the big clean-up project and get the building back into a standard to get the public in for the open weekend.
“What we’d like to do is continue with some of our work towards getting the building wind and water-tight. We’ll still be fundraising for that, and obviously trying to keep the building secure as well.
“We’re in the final stages of agreeing it.
“It means our group will be much more visible in the building. We will be patrolling the building and doing security checks very regularly with the hope of reducing the amount of break-ins and vandalism.
“We’ll be able to do more minor maintenance work to try and keep the building as water-tight as possible moving into winter.”
The team have been out of the building for around three weeks following the expiry of the previous licence to occupy the premises, and unfortunately in that time vandals have struck and caused further damage.
Steven said: “We’ve been out of the building for about three weeks at the moment.
“Our volunteers worked very, very hard during the seven weeks we had occupancy in the building.
“We did a lot of work to tidy up, clean and secure the building. It was fully secured at the point we were last in.
“Unfortunately we needed some more building inspection works completed after some stormy weather which meant there was inspection works going on in the building and it wasn’t being accessed as regularly for the past three weeks.
“That coincided with the October school break and we’ve been aware from reports from local businesses and residents of multiple local youngsters on the roof of the building, trying to force windows open.
“Since we’ve had a look back in we’ve counted multiple forced windows, broken windows, boarding that have been ripped off windows.
“It’s a lot of volunteer time and obviously we’re going to have to get more securing work done, more tidying up work done, there’s al little bit of extra graffiti that now requires more graffiti removal work, and that’s really distracting us from working towards our major goals for the building.
“It’s quite disheartening for us to see.”
Steven added: “The public support for the idea of restoring this building has been phenomenal.
“It really is quite iconic. This building has been featured in architecture journals and literature as a rare example of a surviving art deco public bath building.
“The size and scale of it is quite unlike most other bathhouses still existing in the UK.
“There’s so much sentiment towards the building in Aberdeen, but also enthusiasm about the restoration project.”
In a post on social media, the team behind the project said: “We’re delighted to have agreed on an extended license to occupy with Aberdeen City Council so that we can continue our efforts to secure, improve and save your baths, especially as we are heading into the winter months.
“Sadly, recent intruders have caused yet more damage to this amazing building – this is really disheartening for us to see, and addressing it diverts money which we’d rather spend on making the Baths watertight again.”
The dedicated campaigners behind the project are hopeful of restoring the baths to their former glory.
A social media campaign started six years ago resulted in the council giving Bon Accord Heritage the chance to rescue the building.
Plans for the site include community spaces for lease and a restaurant.