Aberdeen’s iconic Beach Ballroom will remain in public hands after councillors agreed a plan for its future.
Representatives discussed options at a meeting of the city council’s strategic commissioning committee, where it was confirmed the building would remain in public ownership.
It has been decided that the local authority will implement an improvement plan, complemented by further investment, to support the overall financial performance of the ballroom.
The decision came after city leaders committed to keeping the venue, which is celebrating its 90th birthday, in public hands.
One of the options on the table had been to outsource the running of the ballroom.
Amid plans for more than £40 million of budget savings, it was thought franchising the much-loved building out could save about £146,000 a year.
However, outsourcing it was earlier ruled out after council officials confirmed they had made the savings through a combination of staff and cost reduction.
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “This is something the SNP have been fighting for since the budget decision by the administration in March.
“However, it is primarily testament to the endeavours of the staff and trade unions who have fought hard for this icon of Aberdeen.
“The next step is the upcoming budget and making sure everything is moving forward in the right direction.
“The Beach Ballroom can be a real asset to the city for years to come if we invest in it.”
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SNP councillor David Cameron added: “I am delighted we are keeping the ballroom in-house.
“It is a pity this decision could not have been reached a few months ago to avoid uncertainty for the staff, but I am glad it has now been taken.”
The ballroom employs 11 full-time and six part-time staff – as well as around 70 people on a casual basis.
Around £200,000 of essential investment is planned for the current financial year, while there could also be a need to replace the building’s roof in the future at a cost of around £2m.
Council co-leader Jenny Laing said: “We are obviously pleased with the engagement there has been with staff and trade unions around coming up with a plan for the ballroom’s future sustainability.
“It proved staff want to work with ourselves to ensure the venue has a successful future.
“We will work to ensure the ballroom achieves greater efficiency in terms of cost,” she added.
Meanwhile, bosses at Sport Aberdeen have warned they will not be able to sustain another round of budget cuts without having to reduce services.
The arm’s-length body saw its funding slashed by 10% when the council budget was announced earlier this year.
When asked what impact further cuts would have, the organisation’s director of performance and planning Jill Franks told the committee: “I think it would be fair to say it is not possible to absorb a similar reduction in funding without there being an impact on services.
“Our budget has been reduced year on year for the nine years we have been in existence.
“Every year it gets harder and harder, and if we were to experience another round of cuts similar to the last, it would be impossible for there to be no impact.”