New hotel development in Edinburgh’s Old Town

A new hotel development in Edinburgh’s Old Town has been placed on the market with an £8m price tag.

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The Canongate will sit in a redeveloped Grade C-listed Victorian schoolhouse, comprising 21 apart-hotel style bedrooms as well as commercial units that could be used for bars, restaurants or outdoor terrace areas.

The hotel will form part of the New Waverley development project, which will include new leisure and retail spaces as well as 148 residential apartments across a 7.5 acre space.

Knight Frank is marketing the building on behalf of developer Edinburgh Castle for offers in excess of £8m. The developer has predicted that operating rooms revenue will be £1.4m a year, representing a potential yield of 12.2% after operation costs.

Canongate atrium

Jim Cummings, director of Edinburgh Castle said: “Final renovation work at the schoolhouse site should coincide with completion of the office development phase at New Waverley. We’ve seen an increase in footfall as the regeneration takes shape, and with the new government office bringing 2,900 civil service jobs to the area, we can expect this to continue. The area is fast becoming an established district in the capital, creating an exciting community for visitors as well as those who live and work in Edinburgh’s historic city centre.”

Neil Scott, partner of Knight Frank Edinburgh, added: “New Waverley has provided a significant boost to the city centre in Edinburgh – it has revitalised a once largely empty part of the city. The Canongate is an attractive opportunity for a hotel operator or investor to be part of what is fast-becoming one of the most successful regeneration schemes in the city, and even perhaps Scotland.”

The hotel is expected to be completed for hand over in June 2019.

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Fairmont Hotel St Andrews transfers

John Keating is the general manager at Fairmont St Andrews for AccorHotels. He has a career spanning some of the top hotels and resorts in the world, including The Ritz in London, and has hospitality experience accumulated in China, Russia, Australia and Indonesia.

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Keating is currently spearheading a transition at the St Andrews Hotel and Resort into a “relentlessly customer-focused operation based on excellence and emotional experience’” as well as a celebration of the region’s culinary delights.

Having recently won AA Best Eco Hotel for Fairmont St Andrews, we asked him about his career and his vision for the property:

Tell me a little bit about yourself, in your own words – what was your background before you came to this company?

I was introduced to the industry by my uncle who was the sommelier and maître d’ at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.  I started as an apprentice when I was 16 and covered all the food and beverage side of the business.

Later, I lived in Geneva for a year to improve my French and went on to complete a Management Traineeship at the Ritz Hotel in London. I also attended West London University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism.

John Keating

My early career was mainly focused on food and beverage, becoming the Ritz Hotels maître d’ at the age of 25.

After several senior restaurant, food and beverage positions in five-star hotels around the world, I became a general manager some 20 years ago.

How does that help you in your role?

All of my previous work experience has helped me in my current role.  Leading different teams around the world has been a great way to improve communication and strengthen my leadership skills.

Since starting at Fairmont St Andrews, I have mentored many of my senior management team, and continue to mentor them even when they have moved on.

I enjoy being able to develop my team using my previous knowledge and experience in other roles.

What challenges have you overcome in your career and how?

One of the biggest challenges we are facing now in the industry is maintaining the talent pool for hospitality and keeping the drive for young leaders. Over the last couple of years, I have worked alongside the Scottish government to develop a three-year hospitality modern apprenticeship scheme which went live at Fairmont St Andrews in 2017.

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Flights will continue in no-deal Brexit

Post Brexit flights continue

0 commentsMolly DysonThu, 7 Mar 2019 11:36

Brexit illustration

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that the UK will reciprocate the European Union’s arrangements for air travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit news from Airport taxis Edinburgh

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Grayling said reaching an agreement with the EU is still the government’s top priority but that “a responsible government must plan for every eventuality”.

In a statement, Grayling commented: “Air travel is vital for both the UK and the EU in connecting people and businesses, facilitating tourism and trade. The UK and EU have a mutual interest in maintaining well-functioning aviation markets.”

The European Commission has proposed a regulation to ensure air connectivity in the event of a no-deal Brexit. A final draft of the proposal has been provisionally agreed by the EU and is expected to be confirmed shortly, according to Grayling.

This regulation is intended to apply after the UK leaves the EU and would entitle UK airlines to continue operating to and from the EU until March 2020.

Grayling has today published a policy statement to set out how the UK will provide permissions for EU airlines to operate to and from the UK. He said the UK will reciprocate on three key principles – providing certainty and reassurance to businesses and consumers, minimising the potential for disruption in any Brexit scenario and maintaining a “level playing field for UK industry, ahead of future negotiations”.

In addition, “to ensure the continuity of regional services and to minimise disruption”, the UK government will allow member state airlines to operate wholly in the UK until the end of the IATAsummer season – 27 October 2019 – to ensure continued regional connectivity and allow businesses time to “adjust to new arrangements”. Code sharing on existing services will also be allowed to continue.

The news has been welcomed by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), with CEO Mark Tanzer saying: “Today’s announcement provides further assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, travellers can continue to book holidays and business trips with confidence.

“It’s worth remembering that if the UK and the EU agree a deal, we will be in a transition period and everything will stay the same for travel until the end of 2020 – meaning people can continue to travel to the EU exactly as they do now. While it is encouraging that plans are in place for a no-deal scenario, we encourage politicians to work to avoid a no-deal Brexit.”