Plans for a major golf resort some 15 miles south of Edinburgh have been approved by the Borders Council’s planning committee and work is to start within months.
The five-star 150-room hotel, leisure club, restaurant and conference centre will be built next to the existing Rutherford Castle Golf Club, in Peebles-shire, which its new owners want to become Scotland’s latest championship course. It is expected to be transformed after the hotel is up and running at the end of 2010.
Up to 300 jobs are promised through the development, which the hotel chain De Vere – which runs Cameron House Hotel, at Loch Lomond – has signed up to operate. It is hoped the complex will attract about 100,000 visitors a year.
Manor Kingdom Estates, the property developer which has joined forces with De Vere on the West Linton scheme, has pledged it will create the first “truly world-class” resort in the Borders.
Mark Cummings, a spokesman, said, “We believe our hotel will represent what the Scottish Borders aspires to offer its locals and its visitors over and above the mainstream available in central Scotland and that the Scottish Borders, if not Scotland as a whole, will benefit from this investment and new employment opportunities.
“We look forward to starting the work in early 2009, with a hope that we can complete the project before the end of 2010. We remain fully committed to ensuring that as much of the economic benefit from this project can be secured by individuals and companies within the Scottish Borders.”
Vicky Davidson, the economic development leader at Scottish Borders Council, said, “This a great statement of confidence in the Borders and a recognition by Manor Kingdom and De Vere that it is both a top-rate destination for visitors and a good place to do business. This is exactly the kind of investment we need at this time.”
A spokesman for VisitScotland, which says Scottish golf tourism is worth about £300 million, said: “This is excellent news for the Scottish Borders. Capital investment and market positioning as a quality destination are vitally important to the tourism industry, with this project addressing both of these important drivers for success.”
Rutherford Castle Golf Club www.rutherfordcastlegc.org.uk