A Moray hotel which closed its doors earlier this year leaving couples without a venue for their weddings has been sold to UK-wide chain Trivelles Hotels and Resorts.
Charter surveyors DM Hall, which was appointed to oversee the sale, said yesterday the Mansion House Hotel in Elgin fetched in excess of the asking price of £975,000.
The property, a former baronial mansion house believed to be more than 130 years old, boasts 22 en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, function suite and leisure centre, including a gym and swimming pool.
There is also a gate lodge, providing a further three letting bedrooms.
Despite an annual turnover of more than £1million in recent years, former owner David Baker was declared bankrupt in March, with an unpaid tax bill of £90,000.
Trading was suspended by accountants Wylie and Bisset earlier this year.
It was feared dozens of couples would be unable to claim back deposits for their weddings because their cash had been used to keep the struggling business afloat.
People planning to tie the knot there each paid £650 upfront to secure the venue for their special day.
The hotel reopened about two weeks after the doors were closed, but without the swimming pool, bar, spa, hair salon and restaurant in operation.
It has been running a reduced bed and breakfast service under temporary management, appointed by banking group Santander, ever since.
New owner Trivelles also has hotels at various locations in England, including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford and Leicester.
Ben Mitchell, of DM Hall’s Edinburgh office, said: “We identified a number of opportunities to improve the trading position of this business and consider that the new owner will enhance significantly its turnover and profitability.
“In the years ended 31 July 2016 and 2017, the net turnover was just over £1million.
“From mid-March this year, the business has been operated on a restricted basis offering bed and breakfast only.
“Under the same ownership for around 15 years, it has been fully managed on the owners’ behalf as they lived abroad.
“Over half of income was generated from accommodation, in addition to revenue from the restaurant and weddings/functions.”
Kevin McGlone, a partner in the Edinburgh office of law firm Brodies, which acted on behalf of Trivelles, said: “We understand that under its branding the hotel will be restored to its original glory.”