A £4.45 million investment into Highland Coast Hotels by the Scottish National Investment Bank will help to support more sustainable and community-led hospitality around the North Coast 500 tourist route.
The investment will support tourism and employment opportunities in a remote area of north Scotland, where tourism is crucial for the local economy and is vital to sustain communities and businesses.
It will also be used to upgrade four hotels along the route, helping to create full-time jobs within Highland Coast Hotels and up to 40 FTE jobs within the local area through supply chain investment, and improve the availability of accommodation options for tourists.
The investment aligns with the Bank’s mission to invest in places and regeneration to reduce inequalities and improve opportunities and outcomes for people and communities.
In line with the Bank’s net zero mission, the investment will also embed sustainability in each hotel and support Highland Coast Hotels’ objective to achieve carbon neutrality.
The Bank’s loan of £4.45 million will support the upgrade of the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch, the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, Newton Lodge in Unapool and the Kylesku Hotel in Kylesku, all situated along the North Coast 500. The loan will be repaid by income generated by the hotels.
Eilidh Mactaggart, CEO of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said:
“Our 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.”
As well as direct and indirect employment creation, the investment will also ensure that Highland Coast Hotels can continue to provide education and training opportunities for the hospitality sector through the University of Highlands & Islands and springboard collaborations, and a minimum of 10 apprenticeships over the next three years.
David Whiteford, Chairman of Highland Coast Hotels, said:
“This investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank 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 local supply chain.
“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.
“One of the biggest challenges that remote areas like this face is a lack of employment opportunities, particularly for young people. That’s why we are especially excited that the investment will lead to the development of a new Hospitality Foundation Course at the University of Highlands & Islands and the establishment of a Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.
“We are also hoping to be awarded further valued funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help the development plans.
“This investment undoubtedly helps put the North Coast 500 community firmly on the road to a more sustainable future.”
For media enquiries about Scottish National Investment Bank please contact:
Will Little / Graham McKendry
T: 0141 221 0707
For media enquiries about Highland Coast Hotels please contact:
Paul Charles / Liz Healey / Annie Mackaness / Sarah Maxwell
The PC Agency
T: 020 7768 0001
Notes to editors:
The Scottish National Investment Bank is Scotland’s first development investment bank, wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland. The Bank is an impact investor, focussed on delivering both commercial returns and mission impacts with its investments. The Bank is a PLC and operationally independent from government. The Bank invests in business and projects connected to Scotland to deliver long term, patient debt or equity investment where the private market is failing to provide the support businesses and projects require to grow.
The Bank’s missions are:
- Supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero
- Building communities and promoting equality
- Harnessing innovation to enable our people to flourish
The Scottish Government has committed to capitalising the Bank with £2bn in its first 10 years. Over time as the Bank’s initial investments are repaid, the Bank will reinvest those funds in businesses and projects creating a perpetual investment fund to support the Scottish economy in the long term.
The Bank was established in November 2020 and is led by Chief Executive, Eilidh Mactaggart.
Details of the Bank’s investments can be found at https://www.thebank.scot/portfolio/