By Ian McConnell

BLACK Sheep Hotels is launching major discounts for people with Highlands and Islands postcodes to “thank” and support local communities and protect jobs.

The group, comprising the Cluanie Inn at Glenmoriston in Glen Shiel, Rokeby Manor at Invergarry, and The Whispering Pine Lodge at Spean Bridge, as well as the Tiger on the Wall restaurant in Inverness, employs more than 120 people. The Black Sheep portfolio is part of MARS Hospitality (UK). Owner and entrepreneur Sanjay Narang, and his sister Rachna decided to invest in three hotel properties across the Highlands, after a 2018 visit to the Highlands with which he was disappointed.

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A spokeswoman for the Black Sheep group noted Mr Narang, who built his business empire from Mumbai, now lives most of the year in Lochaber.

The discounts being offered by Black Sheep, for direct bookings and requiring a code as well as proof of postcode, will apply while the region stays in lower-risk tiers, under the system drawn up by the Scottish Government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Black Sheep group says anyone with a postcode in the Highlands and Islands will receive a 50% discount on stays of at least two nights at Cluanie Inn, Rokeby Manor and The Whispering Pine Lodge from now until March 31. During their stay, visitors will also receive a 25% discount on food and soft drinks at restaurants in these hotels.

Ravi Rawat, operations director at Black Sheep Management Services, said: “With around eight in 10 hotels in the Highlands being forced to close or reduce operations, we want to safeguard the jobs of our much-valued 120-plus employees and thank people in the Highlands and Islands.”

Black Sheep is also offering a 25% discount on lunches at all of its restaurants to key workers. This includes Tiger on the Wall, where 15% off takeaways will also be offered. NHS, fire service, and police employees, and teachers, will be entitled to the key worker discount.