By Ian McConnell

Black Sheep Hotels has highlighted its creation of more than 80 jobs and a £20 million-plus investment in its Highland portfolio.

And the group revealed that, since the easing of lockdown measures at the end of April, it had welcomed more than 1,250 guests to its hotels and restaurants. Its portfolio includes The Whispering Pine Lodge on the shores of Loch Lochy in Lochaber, Rokeby Manor in Invergarry, and The Cluanie Inn at Glenmoriston.

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Black Sheep said additions included eight cabins, a new restaurant in Fort William, and the construction during lockdown of Landour Bake House, opposite The Cluanie Inn “on the road to Skye”. It noted it had added 19 bedrooms through the construction of six cabins at The Whispering Lodge and two cabins at The Cluanie Inn.

The group declared its Tiger on the Wall Asian restaurant in Inverness had proved “extremely popular” since opening last year. It added that, “buoyed” by this success, it was opening a “pop-up” restaurant, also called Tiger on the Wall, in Fort William.

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Landour Bake House will serve homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches from recipes dating back to the 1890s.

Black Sheep Hotels owner Sanjay Narang said: “Everyone at Black Sheep Hotels is optimistic about the season and looking forward to welcoming guests back to the Highlands.”

He added: "Whilst there is no doubt that the hospitality industry has been badly hit by the pandemic, I firmly believe that the Highlands offers the perfect destination for people seeking a well-earned break and escape after lockdown.

“We anticipate a surge in demand in tourism, especially from within the UK at the start of the season and we think that this popularity is set to stay. We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service and luxury accommodation and our £20 million investment and expansion of our portfolio reflects both the market opportunities we predict as well as our commitment to the Highland economy and creating sustainable employment.”