ONE of Edinburgh's most celebrated restaurateurs has secured a funding deal to help steer his prestigious venues through the hospitality crisis.

James Thomson has agreed a £2.5 million coronavirus business interruption loan from Royal Bank of Scotland to support Prestonfield House Hotel and The Witchery on the Royal Mile. Both reopened last month following their temporary closure in October.

Castlegate Investments, Mr Thomson’s company which owns the properties, has seen its weddings and events business severely impacted by the pandemic. It closed its Tower Restaurant, situated on the rooftop above the National Museum of Scotland, in June amid the fall-out from the crisis.

Mr Thomson, who was awarded the OBE for services to hospitality and tourism in 2005, said: “I began my business by taking out three loans, allowing me to establish The Witchery and purchase the freehold of the property. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of banks, and I’m lucky to have built up a strong relationship with Stephen (MacGregor) at Royal Bank of Scotland over the years – it’s essential when you come up against a crisis like Covid.”