Luxury hotel to undergo £15 million expansion as owners cite 'confidence' in post-Covid bounceback

The owners of a once-derelict South Lanarkshire castle transformed into a five-star hotel and events destination have revealed plans to double their investment to create a new £15 hotel and spa on the site.

The new hotel would have capacity for 35,000 guests a year.
The new hotel would have capacity for 35,000 guests a year.

Steve and Alison Timoney, who spent five years and over £10 million restoring the listed Crossbasket Castle in High Blantyre, near Glasgow, have applied for planning permission that would see their investment in the award-winning property more than double.

The plans reveal a £15m investment in a new 40-bedroom hotel, restaurant and state-of-the-art spa set within the castle’s extensive grounds, which if approved, will bring up to 52 new jobs to the Blantyre area.

The plans come as many existing luxury hotels in Scotland, including Gleneagles and the Old Course Hotel have announced they will close for the foreseeable future due to restrictions brought in to combat the coronavirus pandemic, however, the Timoneys said they had “confidence” that the sector would stage a good recovery.

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The plans for the hotel also include a glass-fronted café, swimming pool, gym and fitness studio.

It is hoped construction work could start in early 2021 if the plans are given the green light by local planners. Once complete, the hotel and venue will have capacity for an additional 35,000 visitors each year, providing a projected economic boost to the South Lanarkshire economy of £1.2m per year.

Alison Reid-Timoney said: “We’re really excited to announce our ambitious expansion plans at Crossbasket Castle. After purchasing what was a building in a state of total disrepair and on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register, it became a true passion project to carefully restore the castle and grounds to their resplendent glory. The expansion marks the next phase of this journey. We believe pushing forward with this large-scale investment at this highly uncertain time, is not only essential to protect our existing business but is the kind of thing that will encourage the industry to fight back and deliver the standard of facility that our customers are keen to see and will inevitably return to with their usual enthusiasm.

“The new hotel, spa and restaurant designs are all in keeping with the local surroundings, and with its landscape-centric design, further establishes the 15th century castle as the jewel in the Crossbasket crown. The local community have provided valuable feedback to allow the design to be developed through various consultations."

She added: “Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had dealt a significant blow to the economy, we are inspired by how people are fighting back to try to keep their businesses afloat. This takes great courage and self-belief and we hope our confidence in the recovery will help inspire that fight in our sector.”

The new facilities, on the grounds of the existing castle, will include 40 new bedroom suites for guests, which has been in high demand, and four eco-friendly detached lodge houses. The spa would house a glass-fronted café, swimming pool, gym and fitness studio, heat experiences and treatment rooms.

The expansion will also include a new, modern restaurant which aims to seat 132 covers, along with a bar and a stage for live entertainment in the evenings.

Since opening in 2015, Crossbasket Castle – which is managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International – has attracted numerous accolades including Best Newcomer at the Condé Nast Johansens Annual Awards for Excellence and Castle Hotel of the Year at the Scottish Hotel Awards.

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