Highland Coast Hotels secures £4.45m investment from Scottish National Investment Bank

A HOTEL company which operates four properties on the NC500 via Sutherland, has managed to secure a substantial bank loan, it has been announced.

The Scottish National Investment Bank has agreed to invest £4.45 million in Highland Coast Hotels.

The loan will be used to modernize the company’s four hotels – Hotel Kylesku; the Newton Lodge, Unapool; the Royal Marine at Brora and the Royal Golf at Dornoch. The reimbursement will be made by the income generated by the hotels.

The Royal Marine Hotel, Brora, is currently closed for refurbishment and is expected to reopen in early April.

Scottish National Investment Bank chief executive Eilidh Mactaggart said: “Our investment will support vital industry for the Highlands while ensuring quality employment, education and training opportunities in rural communities.

“The investment will also benefit local businesses through Highland Coast Hotels’ commitment to sourcing food, drink and other supplies locally, and partnering with other local businesses who can offer activities and experiences. tourists to their customers.”

As well as creating direct and indirect jobs, the investment will also ensure that Highland Coast Hotels can continue to provide education and training opportunities for the hospitality industry through the University of the Highlands & Islands and springboard collaborations; and a minimum of 10 apprenticeships over the next three years.

Chairman of Highland Coast Hotels, David Whiteford, said: “This investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank is not only important for our highly talented teams within Highland Coast Hotels, but also for the much-loved communities in which we operate.

“We will continue to develop hotels that communities can frequent and be proud of, while our goal is to source products as closely as possible, bringing significant benefits to the local supply chain.

“We are already collaborating with a number of artists, artisans, ‘visitor experience’ providers and local food producers to enhance the authenticity of visitor experiences, grow local businesses and spur the creation of “start-ups”.

“We have already established Community Liaison Committees for each hotel that will ensure local people and businesses are involved in key decisions that affect their way of life on the North Shore 500.”

He added, “One of the biggest challenges facing remote areas like this is the lack of job opportunities, especially for young people. This is why we are particularly delighted that the investment will lead to the development of a new foundation course in hospitality at the University of the Highlands and Islands and the establishment of a modern apprenticeship programme.

“We are also hoping to secure additional funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help with development plans.

“This investment is undoubtedly helping to put the North Coast 500 community firmly on the path to a more sustainable future.”

The Scottish National Investment Bank was launched by the Scottish Government in 2020 to provide capital to businesses and projects across Scotland.

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