By Kristy Dorsey

The owners of a once-derelict South Lanarkshire castle transformed into a five-star hotel and events destination have announced a large-scale expansion project.

Steve and Alison Timoney, who spent five years and more than £10 million restoring the listed Crossbasket Castle in High Blantyre, near Glasgow, have applied for planning permission that would see their investment in the award-winning property more than double.

The plans reveal a £15m investment in a new 40-bedroom hotel, restaurant and spa set within the castle’s extensive grounds, which if approved will bring up to 52 new jobs to the Blantyre area. If approved, it’s hoped construction work could start in early 2021, with the two-year build programme carefully planned to minimise disruption to guests and local residents.

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Once complete, the hotel and venue will have capacity for an additional 35,000 visitors each year, providing a projected economic boost to the South Lanarkshire economy of £1.2m annually.

Alison Timoney said she hopes the expansion during what have been extremely testing times for hoteliers will encourage the industry to “fight back” and deliver the standard of facility that customers “will inevitably return to”.

She added: “Although the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a significant blow to the economy, we are inspired by how people are fighting back to try to keep their businesses afloat. This takes great courage and self-belief and we hope our confidence in the recovery will help inspire that fight in our sector.”

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The new facilities will include 40 new bedroom suites for guests, which have been in high demand, and four eco-friendly detached lodge houses.

The spa would house a glass-fronted café, swimming pool, gym and fitness studio. Completing the expansion is a new 132-cover restaurant along with a bar and a stage for live entertainment.

Since opening in 2015, Crossbasket Castle – which is managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) – has attracted numerous accolades including Best Newcomer at the Condé Nast Johansens Annual Awards for Excellence, and Castle Hotel of the Year at the Scottish Hotel Awards.