Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen

PLANS by a hotel in Moray, for a £469,465 refurbishment of its function hall, have secured up to £100,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The move, by the Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen is expected to create up to 14 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs and increase the business turnover by more than £200,000 in the next three years.

This is the latest step in the refurbishment of the 21-bed hotel, in which the current owners have invested £1.6m since buying it in a derelict state in 2017. It is believed to be the largest ever investment in hospitality in a Moray coastal village.

The Seafield is now the largest employer in Cullen, with 52 employees, and was recently awarded VisitScotland 4-stars and a Booking.com rating of 9.6.

The refurbishment of the function hall will allow the hotel to cater for major functions such as weddings, business conferences and ultimately the cruise ship market.

Scott McKnockiter, business development account manager with HIE in Moray, said:

“Tourism is a key sector in the Moray economy, particularly along the coastal areas. Over the past three years we have seen the Seafield Hotel progress from a derelict and unused building into one of the area’s most prominent visitor facilities and a key asset to the sector.

“This latest project by the company will add not only to the hotel’s own capacity but to Moray’s wider visitor offering.

“It will prove a great attraction to Cullen and generate much needed employment opportunities in and around the village, as well as bringing benefits for other local businesses.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide support and look forward to seeing the refurbishment works progress.”

Charles Milne, managing director of the Seafield Arms Hotel, said:

“We are extremely grateful for the support of HIE, which will enable the early completion of this exciting final phase in the re-development of the Seafield Arms Hotel.”