Case Studies

One-of-a-kind destination

The owners of the now independent Barony Castle have ambitious plans to build on its existing reputation and environmental credentials.

30th November 2018

About the business

Popular holiday and wedding destination Barony Castle became independent in April 2018 when its owners ended a franchise agreement with Mercure. The partners in Barony Castle LLP decided to go solo to continue to build the hotel’s reputation based on its own exceptional qualities.

Since buying the Eddleston hotel in 2012, the owners – Richard Spanner, Scott Weatherby, Vytautas Syvys and his father, Raimundas – have invested £1.4 million on upgrading the facilities. Work then began in summer 2018 to build 26 two-bed luxury lodges in the hotel’s grounds.

Support with our business plan, digital marketing strategy, HR, and modern apprenticeship scheme has been invaluable, not only strengthening our local team but also helping us attract new visitors through our doors.

How Business Gateway has helped

The owners have accessed Business Gateway support since 2015 to help make the hotel more efficient and strengthen its offer. The next step is to secure finance to install a ground source heat pump and solar panels.

“When we first thought of building new accommodation within our grounds we turned to Business Gateway for advice,” says Richard. “Moving forward, we want to make Barony as environmentally friendly as possible and, thanks to our adviser connecting us with Resource Efficient Scotland, we now have an action plan that will help us achieve that goal.”

Business Gateway support

Business planning

Digital marketing strategy

Links to other support

What’s next?

“Withdrawing from the franchise wasn’t an easy decision to make, as Mercure is a phenomenally successful global brand,” says Richard. “However, we believe the Barony is such a unique hotel that being an independent will actually provide an opportunity to further enhance its reputation based on its own outstanding merits.

“The Barony is a beautiful 16th-century castle surrounded by 25 acres of outstanding grounds. It is a jewel in the crown for the Borders. Becoming independent provides the hotel’s management team and staff with an opportunity to build on those unique historical roots and attract even more visitors to the area looking to experience the authentic Scottish Borders.”

Get the support you need right now

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