A historic Angus hotel with its roots in the 18th Century is to reopen to the public after seven years in the doldrums.
The Royal Hotel in Forfar closed suddenly in 2010 and was left to decay as a procession of interested parties passed on the chance to buy.
Its closure led to the loss of around 20 full and part-time staff.
Once owned by Oxford Inns and then Bespoke Hotels, water damage and lack of care and attention had made the Castle Street premises unattractive to prospective buyers.
But, after two years of work on the hotel and a successful remodel of the nightclub next door, owners Donald and Maria Stewart are putting the finishing touches on the property and public opening is imminent.
“Over the past two years we have undertaken a major upgrade and refurbishment of this grand old building,” Donald commented.
“We now look forward to opening the business and we are thrilled to be returning the Royal and its heritage back to the town.”
Staff were shocked by the closure of the hotel, which Oxford Hotels and Inns Management Ltd was unable to sell for five years.
Mr Stewart, the respected local publican behind the Old Mason’s Arms and Bar Central, bought the premises from Bespoke Hotels for an undisclosed sum and took possession of the keys in April 2015.
The Royal went under the hammer in October 2014 with a £200,000 reserve price but failed to sell.
Once the cornerstone of the hospitality industry in the town, it can trace its roots back to the 1700s, when it was a coaching inn.
The building boasts a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, function and nightclub facilities.
The former hotel had 21 beds and it is hoped the new premises will join the likes of the Queen’s Hotel at The Cross and Chapelbank Hotel in East High Street as attractive town centre accommodation for tourists.