Building work started today on the new hotel in Brae which will be used primarily to accomodate workers on the Shetland Gas Plant.
The 100-room hotel is being developed by Glasgow-based BDL Management Ltd, which will also manage the property in a contract lasting 10 years. The project is backed by a £6.5 million funding package from Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB).
The two and a half storey mid-range hotel is being built just north of the Moorfield estate, about seven miles from Total’s £500 million Shetland Gas Plant, currently under construction near Sullom Voe. Total has pledged to block-book all 100 rooms for the first year and 80 rooms for the following six years.
The hotel will include a gym, restaurant and bar, all of which will be open to the public once the hotel opens in late summer next year. However, there will be no swimming pool as the Brae pool is close by.
The hotel will create the equivalent of about 30 full-time jobs plus up to 10 part-time housekeeping jobs.
Some Shetland firms are among those on a tender list to assist in the construction and local sub-contractors will be used.
The new hotel will be BDL’s first venture in Shetland and vice chairman Stuart McCaffer said: “We have a lot of experience of developing new-build hotels but obviously not quite anything with the challenge of Shetland in terms of getting something that is going to be sympathetic to the local environment and also hard-wearing enough.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract to build a new hotel which will be a fantastic addition to our portfolio. Securing financing for new-build hotels is difficult at the moment so we are grateful to the Royal Bank of Scotland for providing this funding and helping us to deliver this ambitious project.”
BDL is the UK’s largest multi-brand and hotel management company for both branded as well as independent hotels. Specialising in developing and managing hotel assets for owners, BDL has built 30 hotels with a total of 3,850 rooms and presently has 46 hotels under management contract.
Lesley Stark of RBS CIB said: “BDL is a great company with a great management team and we’re pleased to be supporting them with this opportunity. This is a significant deal which we hope will have a huge positive impact on the local community in Shetland and we look forward to working with the team at BDL to help them deliver the project.”
No name for the hotel has been decided but Mr McCaffer said it would not carry a brand name, unlike many BDL hotels run for chains like Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. A new company, BDL Shetland, has been set up to run the business.