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Business Loans Scotland Lend £100K to The Glentress Hotel to Reinvent Iconic Building

23 Apr 2019

Situated in the Scottish Borders, the Glentress Hotel is located at the foot of the Glentress Forest and aims to provide great value accommodation and hospitality for those exploring the local trails nearby.

Dating back to the 1970’s, the Glentress Hotel has always been a much-loved focal point in the town of Peebles. However, before being acquired by current Director Murray Nisbet and his wife Alexandra in January 2019, the building was dilapidated, frequently unopen, underutilised and undervalued which was something this local couple were keen to change.

With over 300,000 visitors to the area annually, and a forthcoming £11M rejuvenation of Glentress, Murray and his wife had a vision to acquire and revamp the iconic building and started looking for funding to help them achieve their goal.

With funds being generated through family, Murray and Alexandra had a final funding gap they were looking to fill. After hearing about Business Loans Scotland and the £7 million pot of funding available for Scottish SMEs, Murray decided to pursue this opportunity and successfully applied online. After working with the Business Loans Scotland team, Murray and his wife were delighted to secure the maximum business loan of £100,000 that would enable them to reach the finance amount required to bring the Glentress Hotel back to life.

Fully funded through the Scottish Growth Scheme and the European Regional Development Fund (EDF), BLS offer loans from £25,000 to £100,000 for new and growing Scottish SMEs and aim to ensure that good, commercially viable proposals don't fail from a lack of access to finance.

Utilising the loan, Murray and Alexandra were able to safeguard jobs and put a strategy in place that allowed them to purchase the site, regenerate it and run it effectively with ample working capital.

Undergoing refurbishment work already and with plans in place to develop the building further, the couple have successfully been able to reinvent the iconic building making it a thriving hotel within the town of Peebles, once again. The Glentress Hotel now boasts stunning accommodation, a welcoming café and restaurant, a vibrant bar area and beauty therapy treatments for those who want to relax and unwind after an active day exploring the local area. The family run business, fronted by Murray and Alexandra currently employs 11 members of staff and as the business grows, this figure is also set to rise.

Speaking of the loan secured, Director of the Glentress Hotel, Murray Nisbet said:

“The BLS loan was the difference between this project being viable and not. If we had not had the support, we would not have been able to acquire the business and in all likelihood, it would have entered administration and been sold off for residential development. This type of bridge funding is a huge step in the right direction for local economic development and is an excellent catalyst model for SME’s.”

Speaking of the loan awarded, Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added:

“I am delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support the Glentress Hotel with loan finance to grow their business. We are passionate about supporting the growth and development plans of SMEs across Scotland, therefore with the help of our loans, businesses can achieve their growth ambitions without delay. With a dedicated pot of £7 million in place, we are keen to support many other businesses, like the Glentress Hotel, access loan funding which will allow them to flourish in the current economic environment.”