• Construction work delayed due to lack of a suitable investor
• Mike Forbes says the region needs the resort desperately
WYNDHAM GRAND THE ANGUS
An Angus-based entrepreneur has stressed that long overdue plans to build a luxury five-star golf resort are still very much in the pipeline – insisting that it’s something the region needs desperately.
Mike Forbes, who opened the Forbes of Kingennie resort with his wife Gail in 2005, hopes to secure an investor for Wyndham Grand The Angus within the next two years, having been forced to ask for a five-year planning extension.
The luxury resort, which will feature an 18-hole championship layout designed by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke, was expected to open last year, but an ongoing struggle to get the right investor has meant that construction work has yet to begin.
Despite these issues, Mr Forbes is confident that he will see his project come to fruition, hitting out at the void of quality facilities currently available in the region, which he is adamant The Angus will fill.
“We just have nothing at the very high end in Angus at all, nothing five-star and you have to go a long way before you get it, to Gleneagles or another county,” said Mr Forbes. “There’s nothing of high enough quality to keep them in the region. You start combining the V&A Museum , the Wyndham Grand, a Darren Clarke-designed golf course, Carnoustie itself and then you really begin to anchor-point key motives for people coming to stay.
“The waterfront investment itself was delayed and that sheds doubt because people who want to stay at the hotel want to do and see local things. They can play St Andrews, play Carnoustie but the V&A Museum is something pretty exceptional and they’ll want to see that. There have been clouds hanging over that in terms of an opening time, cost, and all these things contribute when investors are looking at a project of this size.”
As well as the 18-hole course and 180-room hotel, the £60m complex would also feature a clubhouse, golf academy and 160 houses.
But Mr Forbes admits that developments haven’t been helped with three leading Scottish resorts going up for sale over the past two years.
“The biggest problem we’ve had is that three of Scotland’s five-star hotels have been for sale in the last 12-14 months – St Andrews Bay, Gleneagles and Turnberry – and it’s been far easier for investors to invest in an established hotel than to build one from scratch.
“There has also been some investment sitting on the fence due to the referendum and political unrest in the UK. But I’m pretty confident that we will have secured a deal in the next 48 months which will see us start this project.”
The Angus :: Five-star luxury resort
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