Hopes for hotel dashed after auction

The hotel building has attracted interest but no buyers yet.
The hotel building has attracted interest but no buyers yet.

The Royal Hotel in Forfar is back to square one after failing to sell at auction, sparking disappointment that a new owner has yet to be found.

The Castle Street building was put up for sale at an auction in Edinburgh last week and although the company that handled the sale is in discussion with interested parties, so far there is no definite progress.

It has been closed since June, 2010 when owners Oxford Hotels and Inns put an end to a 300-year history of a hostelry on that site.

Since then the building, which is equipped with a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, function and night club facilities, and had an estimated price of £200,000, has lain empty with many hoping that a new owner or tenant would be in place sooner rather than later.

Despite some talk of a takeover, there was no movement in the four years since it closed, with attempts to find a tenant/freeholder coming to nothing.

At the time of sale, its condition was described as requiring “refurbishment”.

Shaun Vigers, of SVA Property Auctions Ltd, said: “The hotel didn’t sell and remains available. We’re talking to a couple of parties who have noted an interest and are putting forward proposals being considered by our client. It’s a big chunk of property and needs substantial investment to bring it back into use and it’s not the easiest building to work around.”

There were hopes the 21-bedroom building could provide the town with much-needed accommodation, but for the moment these have been dashed. Isobel Ross, Forfar Community Council chairwoman, said she is disappointed “for many reasons”.

She added: “I’d like to believe that something will happen in the long term whether it’s as a hotel or something else. It would be a big improvement for Castle Street as the front is a disgrace for any main street. I think everyone’s feeling a little let down.”