SCOTS have been advised to know their rights after the operators of a popular wedding venue once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce went bust leaving couples with bookings left in disarray.

The operators of Airth Castle Hotel, near Falkirk, voluntarily ceased trading on Tuesday, with the loss of 26 full-time staff and several part-time workers.

The popular venue, near Stirling, operated by Airth Castle Hotel Ltd confirmed news of the closure.

The operating company, which does not own the hotel, blamed the Covid pandemic and soaring energy bills for the decision to fold.

It is believed that the hotel and spa were putting together a proposal to save summer weddings by re-opening under a different name.

One user, Erick Hanley said he was feeling "pretty angry and upset" at the closure as he was due to be married there on May 13.

He said that he had not heard a word from the venue.

And he posted a social media appeal for anyone who knows of any other wedding venues for the date.

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The company was incorporated in 2004 to trade as Airth Castle Hotel & Spa. It was said to be successful and profitable throughout its 18 years of trading.

The owners of the hotel property, Airth Castle Limited, said the hotel would not be sold as a result of the operating company's insolvency.


A statement said: "The directors of the operating company which manages Airth Castle Hotel in Stirlingshire have made the decision to enter the company into voluntary liquidation.

“The operating company, which does not own the hotel, was incorporated in 2004 to trade as Airth Castle Hotel and Spa and was successful and profitable throughout its 18 years of trading."

Also looking for a new wedding venue was Laura Mcelroy who said  on social media:  "Our wedding venue, Airth Castle has gone into liquidation and we are gutted

"As you can imagine with two months to go it's a very stressful time! We are looking at other venues for the same date in May so will let all our guests know as soon as we can

"Not what we wanted to hear at any point and especially not the night before I go on my hen."

The closure has not only cost people their jobs, it also led to last minute booking cancellations for guests.

Advice Direct Scotland has issued guidance to make people aware of their rights as consumers, or redundancy if they work there.

Colin Mathieson, Advice Direct Scotland spokesman said: “This announcement will have left staff and customers with questions about what this means for them.

“Consumers with holidays, weddings, and other events booked will be wondering what they can do to get their money back.

“If the booking was made as part of a package, or through a third-party travel agent or company, you should contact them in the first instance to see what measures are in place.

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“Those who paid with a debit card, can make a chargeback claim to their card provider."

He said if people make a purchase on a credit card for over the value of £100, they could make a claim to the card provider using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Those unable to claim back through Section 75 or chargeback, could look out for more information from the administrator handling the liquidation.

Mr Mathieson added: “For those concerned about losing their jobs we have put together a guide to redundancy, specifically what employees can do if their employer enters administration.

“It’s important to remember that help is available."

Laura Murtagh, the education & leisure portfolio holder on Falkirk Council said: "I was extremely saddened to hear the news that Airth Castle Hotel & Spa has gone into administration and ceased trading. This is a great concern for the local community, for whom the castle features heavily in local life, not least through full time and indeed part time employment.

Council officers have been in touch to indicate that staff in the economic development and employability unit will ensure that all necessary steps are taken to support the staff being impacted by this closure."


She said the  PACE (Partnership for Action for Continuing Employment) process had commenced with a cross working group of people to ensure a co-ordinated response is delivered from the public sector to those individuals at risk.

Council officers were also taking steps to engage with the owner to see what can be done to improve the situation regarding the hotel’s future.

A spokesperson for Airth Castle Hotel Limited said: "The Coronavirus pandemic had a major financial impact on the operating company, as the hotel was forced to close for an extended period.

"Then, as the energy crisis unfolded and supplier costs increased, the company's level of debt reached unmanageable levels and we have taken the reluctant decision to place the company into voluntary liquidation.

"Regretfully, around 26 full-time staff, together with a number of part-time staff, will be made redundant."

Ayr-based Crackin Event told users: "We have already contacted our affected couples today to offer our support. It's another sad day for the hospitality industry, naturally our thoughts also extend to any staff that have been made redundant by the closure."

One couple, who checked into the hotel on Monday were initially told everything was fine.

They said: “At around 5pm we received a voicemail on our phone, saying that there was a leak in the spa and our treatments were cancelled. Not even an hour later, we received a letter under our door, saying that our booking was cancelled due to a power supply upgrade."

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The letter they received from Airth Castle Hotel management stated: “I am truly sorry to contact you at such short notice, but unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate your booking from Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

“The hotel will be undergoing a power supply upgrade from 11am on March 14, 2023. Due to this upgrade taking place we do have to close the hotel for the next three to four days.

“We cannot apologise enough for any inconvenience and frustration this may cause you. Any prepayments that you made on arrival for any future nights of your stay will be refunded to you on your departure tomorrow morning by our reception team.”