A landmark Moray hotel that has lain derelict for three years is set to be brought back to use – but not for at least another 12 months.
The Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen was boarded up in 2011 and placed on the market for around £900,000.
However, in a difficult financial market there were no offers for the popular hotel and restaurant, which holds many memories for local people as a centre of their community for many years.
Renewed interest was sparked earlier this week when the hotel went back on the market, being sold at auction in London for a knock-down £250,000. It was subsequently snapped up by Charlie Milne, part-owner of the Banff Spring Hotel.
Mr Milne said there are a few “technicalities” to undergo yet before the deal for the A-listed building is completed, but he is confident the sale will be completed soon – although he warns locals not to line up at the door just yet.
He said: “I ask people in Cullen to be patient as it will be at least 12 months before we can start work – they certainly won’t be able to get a drink in there next week.
“In the meantime we hope that there are a few things we can do to make the building more attractive. I am going to meet the community council and look into taking down the boards – after all, Cullen is a fairly safe place.”
Mr Milne plans to spend around £600,000 in refurbishing the hotel interior before reopening it as a 15-bedroom business, with part of the property being developed into town houses.
He added: “The sale price was relatively low but the place needs a lot of money spending on it. I don’t think it has had much done to it since 1972, the year it was last upgraded. We will do this thing properly.”