The lab should be up and running by late 2009
A new state-of-the art forensic science lab is to be built in Dundee, the justice secretary has announced.
The centre should be ready for police use by late 2009 and could see a seven-figure sum invested in it.
The Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) had proposed merging forensic work for Tayside, Grampian and Northern Constabulary at the new site.
However, Kenny MacAskill has asked the SPSA to re-examine the idea of closing the Aberdeen lab.
In the meantime, there will be no decision on shutting the facility in Aberdeen, which provides forensic services for Grampian Police and Northern Constabulary.
Mr MacAskill said: "When completed in 2009, this purpose-built facility will greatly enhance the provision of forensic services in Scotland, benefiting the Scottish police service and the wider criminal justice system.
"I am clear that all eight Scottish police forces, including Grampian and Northern, must receive the best possible forensic service.
"That is why I have approved SPSA's proposal for a much needed new forensic laboratory in Dundee, replacing the existing cramped and unsatisfactory facility."
SPSA chief executive David Mulhern added: "In the SPSA's first year, we have become the first part of the UK to deliver an integrated forensic service from crime scene through to court.
"Now as we enter year two, we are looking to ensure we have the foundations in place to deliver that integrated service for many years to come.
"The government has been persuaded by the clear and convincing case put forward for a new build laboratory facility in Dundee."
North East Conservative MSP Nanette Milne said: "I welcome the fact that the government has taken on board concerns expressed regarding the proposed closure of the forensic science lab in Aberdeen and that the minister has instructed SPSA to look again at the future of the forensic science lab in Aberdeen.
"What must not be compromised is the best possible forensic service available to all eight Scottish police forces.
"The new lab in Dundee will provide for the forensic science needs of Tayside Police. However, what is now important is to make suitable provisions to provide the same facility for Grampian Police in Aberdeen."