A north-east hotel which closed just a year after undergoing a major refurbishment has been sold.
The Udny Arms in Newburgh – the apparent birthplace of sticky toffee pudding – went on the market late last year for more than £525,000.
Yesterday, Aberdeen-based property agents Graham and Sibbald confirmed the property had been sold this week.
It is understood a north-east businessman has snapped it up.
It is believed the new owner plans to keep the business going as a hotel.
The three-star hotel has 30 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and function suite, as well as private garden grounds.
Mark Gillies, a surveyor at Graham and Sibbald, said: “The hotel was sold for over the asking price.
“It is my understanding that it was always going to remain a hotel.”
The news will come as a huge relief to residents of the village, amid fears the building was going to be converted into flats.
Walkers and other visitors passing through the village have also been caught short, as the hotel opened its toilets to the public after the village’s public amenities were shut.
Last night Glen Douglas, secretary of Foveran Community Council, said: “On behalf of the community council we would be over the moon to see it reopen as a hotel.
“It can only enhance the village and is a real asset.”
Ellon and district councillor Isobel Davidson added: “I’m absolutely delighted that someone has bought it.
“It will be wonderful if it’s kept as a hotel, as it’s well known and popular and would be a huge shame if it wasn’t able to carry on.
“It’s always been a traditional hotel, with good quality and I think that’s always worked well for it.”
In 2013, the hotel – then owned by Oxford Hotels and Inns – shut for significant renovation work, and only fully reopened last February.
The hotel is famed for its sticky toffee pudding, claimed to have been invented by Nancy Stott who started working at the hotel around 40 years ago.
In her time at the Udny Arms it is estimated she will have made more than 500,000 of her famous desserts.