60 jobs on way at Borders hotel as new owner plans £31m redevelopment

Heiton's Roxburghe Hotel.
Heiton's Roxburghe Hotel.

More than 60 new jobs are on the way at a Borders hotel following its sale to a German company.

Dusseldorf-based project developer and hotel operator 12.18 Investment Management plans to invest £30.7m in redeveloping the Roxburghe Hotel at Heiton, near Kelso, and its golf course after agreeing a takeover deal.

Heiton's Roxburghe Hotel and its golf course.

Heiton's Roxburghe Hotel and its golf course.

The future of the business had been thrown into doubt by the collapse of a planned sale to Bespoke Hotels last summer, but that uncertainty has now been banished by 12.18 managing partners Jörg Lindner and Kai Richter’s purchase of the property from previous owner Guy Innes-Ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe.

How much they paid for the hotel has not been disclosed, but it was on the market last year for £3.25m.

The German firm, founded in 2006 as Lindner Investment Management and renamed in 2016, is planning to have an extension built to the hotel to add a further 57 bedrooms to the 22 currently on offer, as well as a spa and meeting rooms.

A further 60 lodges will be built on the surrounding estate, but they will then be put up for sale to private investors on a lease-back basis.

The hotel, to be renamed Schloss Roxburghe, is one of nine worldwide operated by the company employing more than 1,100 staff altogether.

It is its first in the UK, but it is now on the lookout for others, it says.

Mr Richter said: “We are excited about our new investment in Scotland and are confident that the acquisition of the Roxburghe Hotel and golf course will not only enrich our portfolio but will also be profitable for the entire region.”

Mr Lindner added: “We expect that after the complete redevelopment of the celebrated Roxburghe Hotel and golf course and the new available rooms on the ground, the number of staff being employed with us will be more than doubled.

“Other businesses, restaurants and shops in the region will also economically benefit from this development.”

The duke is also upbeat about the prospects for his former business, saying: “The plans the new owners have for major investment in the Roxburghe are very exciting indeed.

“We wish 12.18 every success with the new development and the operation in future, and I have no doubt that it will become one of the most outstanding resort destinations in Scotland.

“I would like to pay particular thanks to all the staff who have worked with great dedication to deliver exceptional standards of service to our guestsover the years.”

The hotel will shut, on a date yet to be decided, while it undergoes redevelopment, though its golf course will remain open.

Members of its current staff will be redeployed during that period or offered alternative employment at other 12.18 hotels abroad.

All present staff will be offered jobs once the hotel reopens next year. Consultation with staff will be undertaken ahead of the hotel’s closure, says the firm.

12.18 will be hiring fellow German firm Kitzig Interior Design, along with Edinburgh architect ISA, to oversee the redevelopment.

The landmark property, built around 1810 as Sunlaws House and largely rebuilt after being left badly damaged by a fire in 1885, has only been a hotel since 1982, having previously been used as an estate office. It then expanded with the opening of the region’s first championship golf course in 1995.