The Scottish National Investment Bank is providing £4.45m to accelerate hotel supply along the North Coast 500

SNIB, which was launched in November 2020 to be a development investment bank for Scotland, is lending the funds to Highland Coast Hotels, saying it will provide more sustainable, community-led hospitality throughout the journey by popular car, supporting crucial local tourism and employment. Opportunities.

The loan will support the modernization of the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch, the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, the Newton Lodge in Unapool and the Kylesku Hotel in Kylesku, all of which were purchased by the hotel company last year, while the sum will be reimbursed by the income they generate. The move is expected to help create full-time jobs within Highland Coast hotels and up to 40 full-time equivalent positions locally through supply chain investments.

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All four hotels are located along the North Coast 500, including Kylesku. Photo: contribution.

The bank said the investment aligns with its mission “to invest in places and regeneration to reduce inequalities and improve opportunities and outcomes for people and communities.”

Additionally, the cash injection is seen as supporting SNIB’s net zero mission, improving the sustainability of each property and helping Highland Coast Hotels’ bid to achieve carbon neutrality.

SNIB boss 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.”

SNIB also said the seven figure funding increase will enable Highland Coast Hotels to continue to provide education and training opportunities to the hospitality industry through the University of the Highlands & Islands and springboard collaborations, and a minimum of ten apprenticeships over the next three years.

Communities

David Whiteford, Chairman of Highland Coast Hotels, said: “This investment from [SNIB] is not only important to our highly talented teams within Highland Coast Hotels, but also to the much-loved communities in which we operate.

“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, which will ensure that local people and businesses are involved in key decisions that affect their way of life on the North Shore 500.”

He added that the hotel group is “particularly delighted” that the investment will lead to the development of a new foundational hospitality course at the University of the Highlands & Islands and the establishment of a modern apprenticeship program. .

“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,” he added.

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