THE fate of one Crieff’s most historic hotels could be decided at auction at the beginning of October.
The Drummond Arms, which holds a dominant position in the centre of the Strath capital, goes under the hammer at Edinburgh based SVA Property Auctions’ sale on October 1.
Four years ago, the Hotel sold for a seven figure sum.
However, since then it has slipped into a neglected condition and the local landmark finally closed its doors in 2007.
As a consequence, its value has dropped dramatically, and SVA are giving it a guide price of just £250k to £300k.
The Category B listed Victorian building, which has 36 letting bedrooms, plus public and lounge bars, as well as an imposing function area upstairs and attached staff accommodation, would require extensive refurbishment and renovation if it were to reopen as a hotel.,
And in 2007 agents for the owners, Oxford Hotels and Inns, stated that an estimated £500,000-plus investment would be required to bring the centuries-old building up to modern hotel standards.
With this in mind, they decided to offer buyers an alternative and submitted plans for 17 flats in a combination of studios and one, two and three bedroom homes, plus a ground floor commercial unit.
This was approved earlier this year.
Speaking to the Herald about the sale, which has already created some interest, Shaun Vigers of SVA said: “There have been a number of enquiries and legal packs have been sent out.
“Anyone buying the Drummond Arms as a business, intending to bring it back in its entirety as a hotel, would require considerable investment.
“We think that it is more likely to sell as a mixed development.
“The Lot offers an exceedingly attractive location for a town centre development.”
The auction will begin at 2pm on Wednesday, October 1. The Drummond Arms features as lot 41.
Crieff based MSP Roseanna Cunningham, who has taken a keen interest in the property since it was first marketed for sale stated: “I find it strange that the sale of this historic property should be so low key.
“It seems to me that Oxford Hotels are trying to quietly wash their hands of a property that they just want to get rid of.
“They put little or no money into it when they bought it so it is no surprise that they want to get rid of it on the cheap as well.
“There has been no attempt to market the hotel property, to try and attract a buyer interested in the part played by the hotel in Scotland's history and the role it has played for many years in the Crieff community.
“I very much hope the Drummond Arms will continue as a hotel.
“But I fear that by selling it in its current state, Oxford Hotels are virtually ensuring that if it sells it will be to a developer looking to turn it into flats.”
The original Drummond Arms Inn earned its place in history as the location for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s last council of war in 1746, prior to his defeat at Culloden.