A lavish press jamboree is being organised at Taymouth Castle on 23 August to publicise the new owners’ latest plans for turning the estate into one of the biggest tourism developments in Scotland. About 70 journalists are set to attend a press briefing and tour of the castle grounds followed by a gourmet lunch.
This event will offer the first opportunity to find out more about Meteor Asset Group, who acquired the 400-acre site earlier this year, and how they intend to make their development plans a viable proposition in the current bleak economic outlet. Meteor argues it will play a ‘pivotal role’ in attracting visitors to the region and maximise opportunities that arise from the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2016.

Revised Plans Permission
In June, Perth & Kinross Council handed the City investment company a huge financial fillip by granting permission for a further 71 luxury houses in the estate’s grounds - on top of 89 already agreed in the previous original plan. Meteor argued this was needed to make the project a worthwhile investment.
Work is already underway on creating an 81 bed, 5-star hotel in the restored A-listed castle. In due course there will also be a health and beauty spa, a separate Scandinavian spa, a new smokehouse restaurant, state-of-the-art equestrian centre, renovations up to championship level to the golf course, restoration of the Estate’s historic monuments and extensive landscape management.

Operator Question
Meteor has not yet been able to line up a major hotel operator to run the complex although they say they are already in ‘advanced negotiations with leading hotel operators and a world-leading spa company’. The more limited previous development plan ran into financial difficulties in 2008 when the Four Seasons Group pulled out, and funding dried up.
With the new scheme P&K have insisted on 60 conditions being meeting return for allowing a big increase in million-pound estate houses scattered through the grounds. As Comment went to press, there was local concern that several of these conditions were not being met, including work on the golf course before a comprehensive layout plan had been submitted.

 

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