Hundreds of new jobs are to be created and millions of pounds pumped into the Scottish economy after Angus and Tayside Council approved plans for a £55million golf, hotel and residential property development near Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Councillors have backed local entrepreneur Mike Forbes' proposals for The Angus, which is expected to inject more than £10million into the economy every year, and will be the first five-star facility in the region.
Officials at Angus and Tayside Council had recommended approval of the major development, adjacent to the multi-award winning family-run Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort, with its considerable positive impact in securing a major tourist attraction seen as a key factor.
Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure at Angus and Tayside Council, said in his recommendation The Angus would “bring significant economic benefits and employment opportunities” and provide “much needed high quality hotel accommodation which would be of benefit to the future diversification of the Angus economy”.
The new facility will create more than 200 full-time jobs following completion of the development, with some 300 posts being generated during the construction phase which is forecast to boost the local economy by £19.2million.
An international competition-standard 18-hole championship golf course approved by Ryder Cup legend Darren Clarke will be the centrepiece of the development alongside a five-star hotel and spa, as well as a world-class golf youth academy led by one of Tiger Woods' renowned coaches, Rudy Duran.
High-standard residential housing, including luxury fairway-side villas, along with standard and affordable housing form part of a 160-property enabling development within the site, which will link to the nearby village of Wellbank.
“This is a hugely positive decision for the community. Delivering the first five-star hotel and a championship golf facility which will complement the famous Carnoustie links, bringing with it a massive cash injection for the local economy, was my focus when we first proposed this development,” says Mike Forbes.
“Tourism is vitally important to Scotland and in Angus and Tayside we have to look at ways to ensure that we continue to attract not only overseas visitors but also people from around the UK.
“Golf continues to grow as a major draw for people worldwide and there is a real appetite to create world-class developments which will maintain Scotland's position not only as the home of the sport, but also of the finest courses.”
Mr Forbes, alongside his wife Gail, and a team of renowned leisure and hotel development experts have dedicated two years to planning and proposing The Angus. The group will now work to secure a major operator to take forward the development and finalise detailed plans for the site.
“We have worked tirelessly with officials to ensure that we met all of the vital considerations which were raised following the initial launch of our proposals,” says Mr Forbes.
“Securing their positive recommendation followed extensive consultation work with national authorities including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Water and Sport Scotland.
“Now, we will work just as hard to attract a leading international operator to take The Angus forward, with our focus on specialists in the United States, China and South Africa, whose expertise will ensure the facility and the area achieves a global reputation.”
More than 950 people lodged their support of the plans with Angus and Tayside Council, hailing associated benefits to local businesses and suppliers, and the development's role in improving the standard of facilities in the area.
“We have had overwhelming support from the local community and we will continue to work with them and in conjunction with the local authority to ensure that we deliver the additional education and leisure infrastructure the area needs, as part of our developer contribution,” added Mr Forbes.
Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, previously said: “This is a huge investment which would be a tremendous boost for the area. It provides 5-star accommodation, currently lacking in Angus, along with a championship course which will be an international draw, putting this region even more firmly on the global golf tourism map.
“Bringing a world class resort of this nature to Angus will add to the attraction of Carnoustie and the surrounding area.”
The existing Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort comprises a nine-hole golf course, putting greens and extensive fishing ponds. Four-star self-catering accommodation is provided in 12 woodland lodges, with dining facilities and function suite at Kingennie Country House.
An exclusive luxury housing development, Kingennie Fields, awarded the Herald Grand Prix and Best Luxury Homes Awards, lies adjacent to the site.
PHOTOGRAPHY, INCLUDING ARTIST'S IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW DEVELOPMENT, ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Notes to editors:
Forbes of Kingennie is an independently-owned family business, established by Mike Forbes and his wife Gail in June, 2004. A successful farmer and fisherman, Mike Forbes and his extended family farm more than 10,000 acres of land in Scotland, and Forbes of Kingennie is built on a picturesque hillside on the Forbes’ Tayside farm.
In 1995 Mike developed Kingennie Fishings, a four loch trout and coarse fishery which has become one of Scotland’s most visited fisheries, attracting more than 10,000 visitors a year. Mike is a former fly fishing champion and captain of the Scottish fly fishing team and in 2003 the venue hosted the Scottish National Coarse Fishing Championships.
The development was extended in 2004 to include the 9-hole golf course, driving range and 18-hole putting green, 12 four star-rated luxury self-catering woodland and lakeside lodges, alongside Kingennie Court which sleeps up to 20 people.
Kingennie, which has grown to become a popular wedding venue, also features a waterside restaurant and bar, alongside banqueting facilities.