Ardnamurchan guest house expansion to create new jobs

A guest house situated within the heart of Moidart in the Ardnamurchan peninsula is expanding so that it can be open all year round.

A guest house situated within the heart of Moidart in the Ardnamurchan peninsula is expanding so that it can be open all year round.

Mingarry Park Guest House, previously known as the Clanranald Hotel reopened in 2012 after being completely modernised under new ownership. Four new jobs, including waiting and manager posts will be created at the 5-bedroom guest house following this additional expansion.

John Macdonald, who owns the business along with his wife Emma, have received a £13,800 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) which, along with their own finances, will enable them to extend the current kitchen. The couple plan to expand by offering lunches and evening meals to residents and non-residents as well as employ a full-time chef to run the kitchen.

As a semi-professional Olympic clay pigeon shooter, John also represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. With his successful clay shooting sporting career, the business has a unique opportunity to provide clay pigeon shooting weekend packages to guests.

The business also benefits from having John’s father, who is the well-known accordion player, Fergie Macdonald, regularly playing at the guest house’s Bothan Bar which is situated next door.

Elaine Jones, development manager at HIE, said: “John and Emma have shown a real commitment to developing a business within a fragile economic area. The guest house is well placed for visitors to experience wildlife such as red deer, pine marten and wildcat which improves the guest experience. Mingarry Park aims to offer accommodation and a restaurant that compliments other tourism businesses close by, and the creation of new jobs will be a welcome boost to the area by supporting further growth of the business sector in Ardnamurchan.”

A herd of tame red deer on the grounds and surrounding croft land allows guests to feed, photograph and interact with them specifically through ‘Red Deer Encounter Packages’.

John said: “We are delighted that HIE is assisting us with our new venture and we look forward to the busy season ahead. Now that we will be open all year round, we can expand the potential for sales and help us cater for a larger number of visitors.”

A biomass boiler was installed at the time of the renovations in 2012, making it more energy efficient than the old building. John and Emma are now looking to fit solar panels to heat the building during the summer months.

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