Former psychiatric hospital to become five-star hotel
Hundreds of jobs will be created at the new hotel being built on site of mental health facility.
A former psychiatric hospital is to be converted in to a five-star hotel and spa creating hundreds of new jobs.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway confirmed that they are in the process of selling Crichton Hall, which was opened in 1839 as a mental health facility, to the owners of the Fonab Castle Hotel in Pitlochry.
Fonab Castle owners are in the process of completing the purchase of the 12-acre site that will be transformed into a luxury hotel which is expected to bring 250 new jobs to the area.
Work is expected to begin shortly with the new owners keen to ensure a strong connection with the local community.
And an agreement is in place for Crichton Royal Bowling Club to continue to make use of the bowling green which sits within the grounds of Crichton Hall.
In a statement, the site's new owners Mr and Mrs J Clark said: "When we visited Crichton Hall and reviewed the full scope of opportunity during the sale process, we could not help but be engrossed by the many benefits a destination hotel and spa would bring to the Dumfries and Galloway region.
"Whilst we totally recognised the challenges we would face delivering a destination hotel, we could equally identify how our knowledge, experience and approach to historic building restorations could create another five star hotel and spa equalling Fonab Castle Hotel's breathtaking experience.
"Since we opened Fonab Castle Hotel in Pitlochry during the summer of 2013, we have seen year-on-year growth - the profits of which have been totally re-invested back into the business which have not only seen the hotel and spa benefit hugely from this but have also provided an additional £4.5m of trade into Pitlochry town itself."
NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Jeff Ace said: "We are very pleased to see Crichton Hall move into the hands of people with such positive plans for its future.
"This building has served NHS Dumfries and Galloway extremely well over many years, but it is also a very important part of the region's architectural and cultural heritage.
"When we first made plans to sell the building it was very important to us that this was recognised and respected, and that the site was properly cared for, with the hope that it could be developed to its fullest potential.
"I believe that Mr and Mrs Clark's plans for Crichton Hall exceed those ambitions."