Refurb plan for hotels group after Investment Bank backing

David Whiteford of Highland Coast Hotels

HIGHLAND hospitality group Highland Coast Hotels has plans for significant upgrades to its estate after securing a £4.4 million loan from the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The company, launched last year with the acquisition of the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch, the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, Newton Lodge in Unapool and the Kylesku Hotel in Kylesku – will use the funding to refurb each hotel as well as improve the carbon footprint of each site.

The company’s chairman, David Whiteford, said the investment “is not only significant for our highly-talented teams within Highland Coast Hotels, but also the much-valued communities in which we operate”.

“We will continue to develop hotels that communities can frequent and be proud of, whilst our aim is to source all produce from as close-by as we possibly can, bringing significant benefits to the local supply chain,” said Whiteford.

“We are already engaging with a number of local artists, artisans, ‘visitor experience’ providers and food producers to build the authenticity of guest experiences, grow local businesses and stimulate the creation of ‘start-ups’.

“We’ve already established community liaison committees for each hotel which will ensure local people and businesses are involved in key decisions that affect their way of life on the North Coast 500.”

Whiteford said the investment would also allow the company to develop a new hospitality course at the University of Highlands & Islands as well as establish an apprenticeship scheme.

Eilidh Mactaggart, chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said the investment “will support a vital industry for the Highlands whilst securing quality employment, educational and training opportunities in rural communities”.

“The investment will also benefit local businesses through Highland Coast Hotels’ commitment to sourcing food, beverages and other supplies locally, and partnering with other local businesses who can offer activities and visitor experiences to its guests,” said Mactaggart.