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Historic Friars Carse Hotel sold to private buyer

02 08 21 Historic Friars Carse Hotel sold to private buyer hero

The country hotel with links to the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns changes hands for the first time in 80 years

Friars Carse, a country house hotel located on the Robert Burns Heritage Trail in the Nith Valley of Dumfriesshire, has been sold to a UK-based buyer in a deal brokered by global real estate advisor Colliers.

The 21-bedroom former country house, owned by the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance (POFR) which operates under the Classic Hotels brand, has been purchased for an undisclosed sum off a guide price, of £1,300,000 following significant national and international interest. The anonymous private buyer, based in London, intends for the business to continue running with the existing management and compliment of staff.

The hotel is on the land of the former home of Robert Riddell, who became a friend of the famous lyricist when he lived on the neighbouring Ellisland Farm, and featured in one of his poems. The existing property, set in more than 30 acres of parkland, dates back to 1873, and was brought to the market for the first time in around 80 years by Colliers, acting as sole agent on behalf of the owner.  

Julian Troup, head of UK Hotels Agency at Colliers, said: “Friars Carse is the most significant single asset hotel opportunity to become available in the area, and this sale, during an elevated period of uncertainty, brought about by the effects of COVID-19 shows how high quality hotel assets will continue to appeal to the market.

“We succeeded in achieving significant domestic and overseas interest from our open marketing campaign. We were instructed to invite offers from the extensive list of interested parties which resulted in a good deal of genuine interest.”

Mr Troup added that despite the challenges resulting from the pandemic and lockdowns, the hotels market had remained active. “The Hotels Agency team at Colliers has sold at least one hotel a week since the beginning of 2021. The fact that we are continuing to see sales and acquisitions shows the underlying demand from prospective purchasers. It also demonstrates the ability of Colliers to attract a regional, national and global audience,” he said.

The sellers were legally represented by John Dunlop of Shoosmiths LLP and the buyer by Kevin McGlone of DWF LLP.

Located in the Nith Valley, only a short distance north of Dumfries off the main A76 road. The property also boasts an excellent range of public rooms, including 46-cover restaurant, fixed marquee which is popular for weddings, three self-catering cottages as well as 1.25 miles of privately-owned riverbank along the River Nith which can be used for salmon fishing.

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Julian Troup

Head of UK Hotels - Agency

Hotels Agency

London - West End

I originally trained with a long established firm of Chartered Surveyors based in Manchester and have been working in the licensed, leisure and hotel property market since 1987. I joined Colliers in 2007 to head up our UK Corporate hotel operation. I was appointed Head of UK Hotel Agency during 2011.  Since the beginning of 2003 I have sold or acquired over 100 provincial hotels on behalf of clients of asking prices ranging from £1.2m to in excess of £20m.  In addition to the managerial responsibilities, I remain focused on handling larger private and corporate hotel transactions throughout the UK.

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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