A hospitality sector veteran has been appointed to lead Heart of Midlothian’s new Tynecastle Park Hotel.

Hearts describes the venture as “the UK’s first club-owned and club-operated hotel within a football stadium”.

The Scottish Premiership football club recently announced its plans to launch the 25-bedroom hotel and events space this winter.

Derek Paterson, who is 40, will lead an in-house team to manage the new Tynecastle Park Hotel, which is integrated with the main stand at Tynecastle Park.

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Hearts said: “With over 24 years’ hotel and hospitality management experience, Mr Paterson will oversee all aspects of the Tynecastle Park Hotel launch. He will subsequently manage all areas of the hotel’s business, including managing the transition of the well-established Skyline Restaurant to a seven day per week operation.”

Mr Paterson was previously hotel manager for Dakota Hotels in Edinburgh, Hearts noted.

The club also flagged Mr Paterson’s “extensive experience in banqueting and food and beverage management” gained from his time at Edinburgh’s Carlton Hotel and at Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld.

Commenting on his appointment as the first manager of the new Tynecastle Park Hotel, Mr Paterson said: “I’m really excited to be taking on this new challenge as Hearts celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2024.

“Our in-house hospitality team will be wholly responsible for running the hotel. As the only hotel of its kind to be found anywhere in the UK, we’re confident of being able to offer a truly unique hotel experience in our iconic Tynecastle Park Stadium - the home of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.”

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Hearts hopes the new hotel will attract not only football supporters but also “visitors looking for high-quality, contemporary accommodation as part of an Edinburgh city break”.

With a choice of six new dedicated meeting and conference spaces, the hotel will also provide bespoke facilities for the corporate market and business travellers, the club said.

Hearts noted Tynecastle Park Hotel is now recruiting for positions in all departments.

Graeme Pacitti, Hearts’ head of hospitality and catering operations at Tynecastle Park, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Derek to the team as our first hotel manager. He brings with him over 20 years of hospitality management experience, as well as the drive, enthusiasm and personality we’re looking for, so we’re confident he’s the right person for this exciting new role.

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“We look forward to working with Derek to launch the hotel this winter and help build the reputation of Tynecastle Park as one of Edinburgh’s leading hotels.”

Mr Paterson said: “Here at Tynecastle we’re focused on delivering a world-class guest experience through a top team of hospitality professionals. We’re committed to investing in our people, and providing long-term career development and training opportunities for those who share our passion for top-class hospitality.”