Local councillors have welcomed the news that J D Wetherspoons are believed to be interested in Fraserburgh’s vacant Saltoun Arms Hotel.
Councillor Ian Tait has contacted the national pub chain directly offering his support and Fraserburgh’s SNP councillor Brian Topping has also welcomed the news.
In an open letter to Wetherspoons, Councillor Tait said he would “like to offer every support I can consistent with council policy” and urged the chain to contact him if they believed he could be of assistance.
The Saltoun Hotel, which was originally built in 1801 has lain empty and boarded up for a number of years now.
Councillor Tait continued: “This building is at present a major eyesore in the middle of our town and it would greatly help the appearance of the town centre if you took it over.
“I think it would also help to attract other businesses in to the town centre and breath much needed life back into it.”
Councillor Topping, who took the unusual step in December 2009 of writing directly to senior management at some of Europe’s foremost hotel chains inviting them to consider the former Saltoun Arms as their next acquisition, welcomed the news about J D Wetherspoon.
Commenting he said: “I’m very encouraged by this news and I hope that something positive for the town comes out of this.
“Wetherspoons moved into Peterhead a few years ago and my colleagues there tell me it has been an excellent addition to the town centre, with no loss of existing licensed premises or restaurants as a result.
“This is a prime location right in the heart of the Broch which is crying out to be put to good commercial use. Attracting interest from a company with the standing of Wetherspoons shows that Fraserburgh has much to offer, and I hope there will be a positive outcome for the town.”
Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford added: “This is good news for the town centre that a company such as Wetherspoons are showing interest in Fraserburgh.
“Brian has been a powerful advocate for trying to attract in new business to this prime location, taking the unprecedented step of writing to a dozen of Europe’s top hotel chains back in 2009 to advertise the availability of the Saltoun Arms.
“I hope therefore that something positive comes out of this latest move which will in turn attract more visitors to Fraserburgh town centre.”
A spokesperson for Wetherspoons said: “Wetherspoon can confirm that it is interested in opening a pub in Fraserburgh, however, the company will not comment on individual sites.”