A retail and hospitality project at Tomatin is set to open its door to the public by Easter 2020 after proposals for the multi-million pound development were given the go ahead.
Plans for the £10 million pound development at the Tomatin Junction of the A9 are to be brought to fruition following a decade-long battle to obtain planning permission.
The development – which has been cmpared to the House of Bruar further south – is the creation of William Frame of Braemore Estates and is expected to create 100 additional jobs for local residents, 70 of which will be long-term.
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Once construction works are complete, in about a year, the site will boast a 97 bedroom hotel, 200 seater restaurant, shops, a drive-through bakery, farm shops and a filling station.
Mr Frame said this approval has been a long time coming. He said: “Securing planning permission is an important step forward for Tomatin and I am confident that our hotel and retail/food village will be a valuable addition to the local area and the Tomatin Trading Company will be part of the countries renaissance of all things Highland.
“I have owned the site since 2005 and am proud to be playing my part in meeting the demand for quality, affordable hotel rooms within close proximity of both Aviemore and Inverness and the wide range of attractions on offer in the Highlands and Islands.
“We are also committed to supporting the area by showcasing the best of the region not only in the retail outlets but also through the locally sourced produce in the restaurant and farm shop which will represent the best of Scottish food and drink.”
Mr Frame was previously granted planning permission in 2008 but failed to get the project off the ground due to the economic downturn.
Councillor Ken Gowans from Inverness South welcomed the development saying: “I am absolutely delighted that is has passed. All of this goes towards helping to ensure sustainability of the rural economy in the area. At the moment in Tomatin the distillery is a big employer and several estates. This will add a whole new area of development and income stream and provide local employment going forward. It’s very good for the Highland economy but it will be extremely good in particular for the Tomatin area; for its sustainable future.”