£450M PLANS TO TURN RUINED CASTLE INTO TOP TOURIST DESTINATION
The Scottish Government launched a planning inquiry in Kilmarnock last week to establish what to do with Loudoun Castle estate.
Owners of the estate have been in talks with Harcourt to undergo a major regeneration scheme at the site.
Director at Harcourt Developments, Paul Manning, noted the scheme’s potential of becoming “one of the UK’s most successful tourism destinations” if the proposal is taken on board by the Scottish Government.
The proposed plans by Manning went public just days before the Scottish Government officially launched the inquiry into the future of the Loudoun Castle estate.
Apart from Loudoun Castle’s ruins, the 580 acre site is also home to an abandoned theme park of the same name which closed its doors back in 2010.
Harcourt Developments seek to take on the project in order to transform the site into a leading leisure and tourism destination. The ambitious Irish developers are also the ones behind the successful urban regeneration project at Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
“The fact that Harcourt is considering becoming part of the Loudoun Woods consortium and making a significant investment in Scotland speaks volumes for the quality and international scope of what we’re planning,” said Head of the Loudoun Woods consortium David Mace.
Plans for the regeneration scheme include transforming the ruined castle into a luxury hotel as well as developing 1000 eco-homes and holiday lodges and a tropic-inspired waterpark.
Mace said the plans seek to turn the site into “an all-weather, world-class holiday destination” which will attract visitors beyond Scotland.
“The site’s historic setting, great transport links and proximity to some of the world’s most famous golf courses, gives it massive potential to become one of the UK’s most successful tourism destinations.”
“Our vision is that Loudoun Woods becomes Scotland’s premier short-stay inclusive resort with the lodges and treehouses built sensitively amidst the forest landscape. It will be a traffic-free environment with cycle and walking paths linking the accommodation to the water park, hotel and other leisure amenities.”
“The Loudoun Castle hotel will be the centrepiece of the development, allowing us to restore this historic castle to be enjoyed by future generations.”
If everything goes to plan, Harcourt Developments hope to begin work on the site in the summer of 2018, estimating to create around 1000 new jobs in the process.
Source: The National