Work has started to refurbish and redevelop Arbroath' Marine Ballroom, in Hill Road. It is being converted into 27 flats in a year-long project that will cost about £2 million.

The building is well known to generations of Arbroathians as a meeting place and dance hall. It has been vacant since 1983 when the Marine Ballroom closed.

It started life as Grant's shoe factory in 1882 and, in 1937 was bought by Frederick Carcone who ran a restaurant at 84-86 High Street. In September that year the Marine Ballroom opened. Two years later, Helen Duncan, who later formed Duncan Dance Enterprises, acquired the business which the family ran until Mr John Air took over on October 24, 1975.

In the years before the Airs took over, the Bay City Rollers played at the Marine, as had Christian and Salvation, whose members included Midge Ure.

Slade, too, are well remembered as they were banned. Their skinhead antics when they were Ambrose Slade did not go down well.

During the Second World War, the building as a billet for Polish troops and a mural still exists in a fire escape showing a lady in traditional dress and carrying a Polish banner.