An Edinburgh property investment group has acquired a grade B listed townhouse in Leith for a hotel development and completed its conversion of an empty office block in the city centre into a boutique hotel, backed by a £530,000 funding facility.

Archibald Marckay Group has used the facility provided by alternative lender Reward Finance Group to drive the growth of its hospitality division, purchase the four-storey townhouse at 3 John’s Place in Leith, and complete its newly opened Eleven Stafford Street hotel.

The property at 3 St John’s Place was purchased for £975,000, from a pension fund.

Reward Finance, observing Leith is “currently undergoing substantial regeneration”, noted Archibald Marckay Group plans to “develop the former offices into an aparthotel comprising 16 studio apartments”.

It added: “Like many other property investors and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) operating in the current climate, the developer turned to Reward after struggling to secure the finance needed from three different high street banks. The speed required to complete the purchase of 3 John’s Place and undertake the refurbishment of Eleven Stafford Street also meant that it needed a responsive lender that could provide the funding deal within a short timeframe.”

The 3 John’s Place scheme is the third acquired by Archibald Marckay Group, which is the hospitality development arm within a wider group of companies that enables clients to invest in various commercial and residential property schemes across the UK.

Caroline Claydon, director of Archibald Marckay Group, said the new hotel at 3 St John’s Place would hopefully open in late 2024.

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She said: "Developing properties in the hospitality sector is a big area of focus for us, and so being able to purchase 3 John’s Place and complete the redevelopment of Eleven Stafford Street is a significant step forward towards achieving our ambitious growth plans.”

Ms Claydon added: “After finding it extremely difficult to access finance via several high street banks, we were relieved to speak with Brian [Machray] and the team at Reward, who worked with us closely to understand our business needs and provide a flexible working facility.

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"They also provided the funding at speed which was essential to complete the property transaction in Leith and ensure we stayed on track financially when undertaking the sensitive refurbishment of our new boutique hotel on Stafford Street, so that it retained its stunning Georgian architecture, heritage and charm.”

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Mr Machray, business development director for Reward Finance in Scotland, said: “We’ve played a key role in funding several major residential and commercial property purchases and development projects across Scotland, so funding this latest acquisition and refurbishment scheme by Archibald Marckay Group is the perfect fit for us as a lender.

“We’re finding many investors and SMEs in the commercial and residential property space are unfortunately being held back and struggling to complete purchases or build projects in the current economic climate because they can’t access finance through high street banks. We’re able to successfully fill this void and deliver agile funding solutions that are needed by so many property businesses to unlock growth opportunities.”

The deal between Archibald Marckay Group and Reward Finance was brokered by Kenny Campbell, associate director for Breadalbane Finance, based in Edinburgh.