The state of a crumbling Perthshire hotel has come under attack after a bank was forced to close its doors as a result of structural damage.
The Royal Bank of Scotland said that the deterioration of the Drummond Arms Hotel in Crieff’s James Square means it can no longer safely serve the people of the town.
The bank has been operating from temporary premises but says that, as there is no solution in sight, it has decided to close in the summer.
“Despite our best efforts, we cannot safely reopen the branch because of the disrepair of the Drummond Arms hotel,” said an RBS spokesman. “As an interim measure, we have been renting a portable building from the council. However, this is not a long-term solution and, as a result, we have taken the difficult decision to close the branch on June 19.
“We have advised staff and will be helping our customers to make alternative arrangements. A mobile bank will provide regular banking services in Crieff.”
MSP Roseanna Cunningham expressed anger at the situation and laid the blame at the door of a Glasgow councillor who owned the hotel.
“I had been in touch with the local manager trying to arrange a meeting to discuss their situation, since it was clearly unsustainable for them to continue to carry out their business from a portable building, but this news has come as an absolute bombshell,” she said.
“My anger, however, is not directed so much at the RBS as at the owner or immediate past owner of the Drummond Arms Hotel, whose abject failure to maintain, let alone redevelop as promised, this historic Crieff building has to a great extent forced the hand of RBS.
“Sohan Singh, who is a Labour councillor in Glasgow, bought the Drummond Arms and promised much, but delivered absolutely nothing.”
However, Mr Singh was adamant that he was not to blame for the situation.
He said: “I have not owned the hotel since March 2012. Throughout my ownership, I sought support to redevelop the hotel, even speaking with RBS, but without success.
“I regret that, given the recession, funding proved impossible. I sold the hotel to others who assured me of their desire to bring the building back into use.There has been no sleight of hand on my part.
“I have had no correspondence from Roseanna Cunningham about the hotel when I owned it, so I am confused about why she has only now chosen to speak out and her accusations about me have no foundation.
“If Ms Cunningham had spoken to me when I was the owner, then she would have understood what happened and the problems that I, along with others, faced in these economic conditions.
“I regret that, as with so many other businesses in the recession, my business plans did not work out.
“I am sorry that Crieff is losing out as a result. I can only hope that RBS can find a solution to ensure that it remains in Crieff.”