Case Studies

Local couple become King and Queen of the castle

Transformation of a ruined castle in Tayside is in progress, making it a prime location for guests, and offering the chance to indulge in a “glamp, wine and dine” experience.

2nd November 2021

About the business

Looking to become a hot spot for visitors in Tayside, Culdees Castle offers a variety of facilities to accommodate its guests. Boasting a newly renovated castle, with much to offer, from lavish glamping in its grounds, to a sophisticated wine bar, tearoom and an onsite shop.

By working with Business Gateway, we were able to access the support we needed to take on a project of this scale, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

How Business Gateway has helped

Culdees Castle Estate, designed and built in 1810 for Charles Drummond, whose clan was rewarded for fighting with Robert the Bruce, had not been lived in since 1968. However, after a lifetime of renovating properties and stumbling across the castle on a family holiday, Tracey Horton and Rob Beaton bought Culdees in the summer of 2019 and were determined to restore the site to its former glory.  

While boasting expertise and knowledge in events management and property development, the couple knew they required practical support to launch the business and approached Business Gateway for help.

Through Business Gateway, Tracey and Rob were assigned a dedicated adviser who provided 1:1 support, helping them to secure the adequate funding needed to turn the derelict castle into an attraction visitors of Tayside could enjoy. The couple were also able to access information about potential business loads that would be useful for their project. The renovations are now underway, and the estate can offer guests a luxurious glamping experience at the historic castle.

Tracey Horton, Managing Director, Culdees Castle Estate, said: “We knew renovating Culdees Castle would be a big project, but we really appreciated the beauty of the building and were determined to transform it into something special. By working with Business Gateway, we were able to access the support we needed to take on a project of this scale, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Stuart Milne, Business Gateway Team Leader & Business Adviser, said: “Tracey and Rob took a risk when purchasing the Culdees Castle Estate, but it has paid off. Their passion was second-to-none and, when it came to writing up their business plan, we knew this venture was going to be something special.

“I have no doubt that the castle will give people something to look forward to as restrictions ease further, and I’m confident the venue will make a beautiful backdrop for the weddings that have been booked for later this year.”

Support Provided

1:1 Business Adviser or Support

Advice & Routes to Funding

Advice on Marketing

What's next?

Tracey and Robb are continuing to transform the main part of the castle next year, and plans include adding a whisky brothy to the castle’s facilities and renovating the chapel and commercial kitchen. Tracey also plans to open a champagne bar where guests can enjoy the ambience with afternoon tea.

Get the support you need right now

You can connect with us through the contact form, call us or contact your local Business Gateway office.