The Princess Royal opens FirstGroup's new Aberdeen base

Princess Anne at FirstGroup depot Princess Anne thanked staff for their charity work

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The Princess Royal has formally opened bus and rail operator FirstGroup's new £20m headquarters and bus depot in Aberdeen.

Princess Anne toured the facility before unveiling a commemorative plaque outside the company's historic 1862 granite building.

She was escorted around the headquarters by FirstGroup chief executive Sir Moir Lockhead.

Guests included the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Peter Stephen.

Princess Anne, who is president of Save the Children, thanked the staff for raising more than £2.8m for the charity over three years.

More than 200 people are located at the new headquarters and over 500 staff are based at the bus depot. In total the site covers more than eight acres.

At the formal opening Sir Moir dampened speculation that he might stand down in the near future.

Rumours have been growing in the city that American Tim O'Toole, who was recently appointed as Sir Moir's deputy, could take over at the helm.

Sir Moir told BBC Scotland he had no intention of retiring any time soon but admitted he was working on his succession.

Sir Moir Lockhead has been running the company since its humble beginnings as Grampian Regional Transport 25 years ago.

FirstGroup runs transport operations in the UK and North America with revenues of more than £6bn a year. The company employs more than 130,000 staff and transports 2.5bn passengers a year.

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