Highland Coast Hotels has added 48 guest rooms in Inverness and Plockton to its hospitality portfolio as part of its continuing drive to create sustainable tourism throughout the region.

The group is the new owner of The Haven on Innes Street, which will become part of the existing Plockton Inn and provide an additional 20 en-suite guest rooms, plus a breakfast room and residential lounge.

Located adjacent to the Plockton Inn on the main road into the village, The Haven will become part of the Plockton Inn product offer from this spring.

Lochardil House is a Victorian mansion with 28 guest rooms including a choice of suites, family rooms, deluxe doubles and classic singles. A dedicated wedding and meeting space will host between 10 and 200 people.

“Our latest investment in Inverness is testament to our confidence in the potential of the Highland tourism and hospitality industry, which has faced a number of unprecedented economic challenges over the last few years," Highland Coast chief executive Guy Crawford said.

"As well as helping to grow the city’s tourism economy, we also hope to create lasting careers in hospitality that will benefit the wider local community.”

Highland renewables firm Ardtornish axes jobs as rates rise

The Herald:

A Scottish renewable energy business owner is challenging the SNP and Green administration over what it believes are the highest business rates in Scotland proportionate to turnover.

One of the country’s most remote companies that provides key employment and economic benefits has been calling for the Scottish Government to review non domestic rates that are averaging around £500,000 a year and have led to the loss of jobs.

Hugh Raven, of Ardtornish Hydro, Morvern said the rising rates bill for which the business has to set funds aside is also halting critical investment in the rural West of Scotland area.

Scottish Government should shelve retail surtax idea

The Herald:

The Covid Inquiry has given a peek into how public policy is sometimes formulated at the upper echelons of government. It might be argued not every decision seems based on the most rigorous analysis.

That may help explain the backdrop to the Scottish Government’s shock plan, announced in December’s Budget, to consider raising taxes on grocers to “sustain the public finances”.

The new tax also risks breaching promises made on business rates contained in the SNP manifesto and the Government’s Framework for Tax and New Deal. It would mark a decisive departure away from the pledge to restore rates parity with England.