The company behind plans for a hotel, lodge development and museum on the outskirts of Perth has described the next steps to make it a reality.
Eleven hectares of land neighbouring the Morris Leslie head offices at West Kinfauns will be used for the development.
The plans, which also include a park and ride provision and shops, were unanimously backed by Perth and Kinross Council in December.
Next steps for hotel development
Graham Ogilvie, group operations director of Morris Leslie, said he is currently in discussions with Perth and Kinross Council over the transfer of land required for the park and ride provision. He said this is at an advanced stage.
The next step will be attracting a hotel developer to buy and build this element of the project.
He explained: “Once we get the park and ride land transfer finalised, we can start marketing the hotel.
“At the moment we have permission for the main elements which include having up to 150 rooms.
“We will sell this land to a developer who will built it and rent to one of the international hotel brands.
“They will then apply for more detailed planning permission.”
Four-star hotel would boost Perth
Mr Ogilvie said this marketing process would start in the spring and he expects there to be strong interest in the site.
He said Perth would benefit from high quality four-star accommodation.
“The quality of Perth hotels is mixed. Having a large hotel will help bring people to the area for things like conferences.
“If we have better hotels in the area, then we have more chance of attracting and keeping people here to spend money locally.
“The site is a good mid-point in Scotland. At the moment people might visit Perth but then stay in Dundee or Edinburgh.”
Morris Leslie, which has a lodge development at Alyth, will develop the lodges part of the plans.
Mr Ogilvie said the profits from the lodges and hotel site sale would then fund the museum, which could focus on transport.
He said it was unlikely that any construction work would take place this year.
When the plans were first announced in 2021, it was described as a £34 million development.
With steep rises in construction costs, the investment required to make the vision a reality is probably closer to £50m, Mr Ogilvie said.
He said: “You can probably add another 40% onto that initial £34m quite easily. However, hotel room rates have also increased.
“Realistically I can see progress being made in 2024 but I can’t see spades in the ground.
“By the time you get interested parties, detailed planning consent, the earliest time for construction will be into 2025.”
Morris Leslie, best known for the highly successful plant hire side of its business, predicts the site could attract 80,000 visitors to the area every year.
The project could create around 250 jobs, including in the construction phase.
It is forecast to boost the local economy by £4m a year.