US Royal Hotel owners seek a buyer

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The American owners of Campbeltown’s Royal Hotel have promised there will be no jobs lost in any sale of the premises.

It was announced on Monday that Southworth Europe Ltd will be listing the hotel for sale and last week staff received letters, from the management, warning them about the plan.

There is no plan to sell Southworth’s holdings in Machrihanish, which include the Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, The Ugadale Hotel and Cottages, The Old Clubhouse Pub and The Kintyre Club.

The Royal holds a special place in Campbeltown history.

Built in 1907 by Kintyre proprietor Archibald Johnston, The Royal was designed by renowned architect James Monro of Glasgow, who would later design the Grand hotel in St. Andrews.

After years of economic difficulties in the area, the aging property closed its doors.

In 2008, David Southworth and Joe Deitch bought The Ugadale and The Royal hotels,  created the Mach Dunes golf course, and began the development of the Village at Machrihanish Dunes, which includes both hotels and the golf cottages.

The Royal is also home to The Black Sheep Pub and the elegant Harbourview Grille.

‘We love The Royal and what it has become, but we have made the decision to list the property for sale,’ said David Southworth, founder and chief executive of Southworth Development, ‘It will afford us some operating efficiencies and is not vital to our operations in Machrihanish.

‘We will be very careful as to whom we would sell the hotel, as its future remains important to us.

‘There will be no loss of jobs within the community.

‘We truly hope that whoever the next owner is will have even more resources to attract added visitors to the area.’

Southworth added that in addition to bringing valuable jobs to the area, the development revitalised the Kintyre economy, providing a high quality tourism product to draw new, high-spending visitors from around the world.

Since 2008, Southworth has invested more than £33 million in the overall project.

In addition grant aid has come from Highland and Islands Enterprise, the European Regional Development Fund and Argyll and Bute’s Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project.

Plus a special grant to the Royal by the Scottish ministers, through Historic Scotland under the Historic Environment Regeneration Fund.

Just a year ago Southworth’s Kevin Lewis formally handed over to Andy Hogan the current Kintyre boss. 25_c02southworth01_kevin_lewis_Andrew_Hogan