The GI Group, owners of the Scotsman Hotel since 2017, hopes to convert the care home into a luxury hotel, which they say would create more than 40 jobs.
The group, which owns 50 venues around Scotland, including The Doll’s House and Forgan’s in St Andrews, has gone into partnership with CAF Properties in order to realise the project and has made it clear that the 20 million pound investment depends on a replacement care home being built in Hepburn Gardens.
As reported by QV, the initial planning application for that project failed amid significant local opposition and CAF Properties has lodged revised designs with Fife Council for a 38-bed care home in the White House. A Scottish Government reporter upheld the council’s rejection of the first application to convert the White House, stating the proposed building would be overbearing and neighbours would suffer too much disturbance.
Stefan King, G1 Group managing director, said: “Given the historic character of the town, St Andrews was a natural choice for our first The Scotsman Hotel outside Edinburgh. Gibson House is an iconic St Andrews building and we want to restore it to its former glory. We are delighted to be partnering with The William Gibson Trust on this project. A new Scotsman Hotel at Gibson House can only happen if we receive planning consent for the development of 92 Hepburn Gardens.” He said he hoped changes in the new designs would alleviate neighbours’ concerns.
Barry Mackin, general manager of the Edinburgh hotel, said: “The Scotsman is a world renowned hotel, therefore the decision to grow the brand and more importantly, choose the correct location, wasn’t taken lightly. Gibson House in St Andrews emulates the historic setting of our current location in Edinburgh. G1 Group is a longstanding investor in the town and the opportunity to build on our success with The Scotsman Hotel is a hugely exciting prospect.”
Dorothea Morrison, chair of the Gibson Trust which owns Gibson House, said the trust had been looking for a new site for 17 years to rehome residents and there was no viable alternative. She said: “The conversion of 92 Hepburn Gardens would offer experienced care for residents within excellent quality accommodation with en-suite facilities in each room, which cannot be accommodated at the existing care home at Gibson House.”