An iconic Aberdeen venue is to remain in public ownership after the council abandoned plans to outsource it.
Local authority leaders have announced they now believe retaining the Beach Ballroom is the best option for the taxpayer.
The building, which is celebrating its 90th birthday, will be fully controlled by Aberdeen City Council, which will also be responsible for managing and financing it.
Councillors will also be urged to back long-term plans, worth around £2 million, to secure the future of the B-listed building at a strategic commissioning committee meeting next week.
Local authority officials had found around £146,000 could be saved if a private firm took over the venue.
However, a report said the savings had already been found through “a combination of staff and cost reduction”.
The council would have retained ownership but the running of the venue would have been franchised out.
The building was once described as “Scotland’s finest ballroom” and regularly stages music and dance events, conferences, weddings, charity gigs and British Masters Boxing bouts. The Beatles performed their only Aberdeen concert there in 1963, while Pink Floyd played the same venue in 1967.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Council co-leader Jenny Laing confirmed the “much-loved” ballroom was to remain in the public’s hands.
She said: “It is imperative that we keep firm control of our budgets and ensure we secure best value for Aberdeen taxpayers.
“Therefore I am delighted that, following a review by council officers, the best option to achieve this is for the council to retain the Beach Ballroom service delivery in-house under the ownership and management of Aberdeen City Council.”
A spokesman for Unite, which had vehemently opposed the outsourcing of the venue, welcomed the U-turn, saying: “This is good news not just for the workers at the ballroom but the citizens of Aberdeen themselves.”
Opposition SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “The Beach Ballroom is an amazing asset for this city and it’s ridiculous we’ve had this level of uncertainty for so long despite repeated calls for the administration to safeguard its future.
“Ultimately, I am absolutely delighted that they have finally listened to staff and trade unions who have rightly argued that the ballroom can be a success if we choose to invest in its future.”