Green light for £30 million masterplan opens up bright new future for historic Murrayshall
In December 2023, Perth and Kinross Council granted approval in principle for our masterplan application for the extension and diversification of accommodation and guest facilities at our luxury boutique hotel, Murrayshall.
Spotting the potential
Set in 365 acres of magnificent Perthshire countryside, the 40-room luxury boutique hotel dates back more than 400 years. Illustrious former residents include the Napoleonic war hero and keen early cricketer, Lord Lynedoch.
Stellar Asset Management acquired the estate on behalf of its investors in 2016 as part of its strategy of developing and enhancing assets with significant potential for uplift. Murrayshall was a perfect fit as while the house, grounds and golf course are stunning, they had experienced years of underinvestment.
Since acquisition, we have invested more than £5 million in upgrading the refurbishing the guest accommodation, golf course and catering.
The newly approved masterplan outlines phase two of this transformation. Highlights include a new spa and leisure club, which will help to cement Murrayshall’s place as an attractive destination all year-round, limiting the impact of seasonal change. For the adventurous, there are also plans for an outdoor pursuits’ area, complete with zip wires, luxury glamping pods and archery. Other proposed developments include a 50-bedroom extension, 40 new holiday lodges, a central delivery hub to streamline business efficiencies and an opportunity to utilise an area of the 365-acre site for 30 fractional ownership properties.
Sharing the benefits
The benefits to the local community include the creation of up to 400 jobs, with the people we employ paid at ‘real living wage’ or higher. The approval could in turn unlock potential ‘multiplier effect’ investment of around £169 million in the local area.
Throughout the design and planning process, we have listened to and learned from the local community. Recognising our responsibility as custodians of this tranquil rural haven, we have also sought to ensure that the masterplan protects and enhances its rich natural habitats and sensitive environment.
Maximising investor returns
So how does the Murrayshall masterplan fit into the wider strategy of our asset backed services?
Murrayshall constitutes a value-add project, which is one of the key investment strategies we deploy within our asset-backed services. It involves acquiring assets with strong potential in private sales off-market (allowing for purchase at below open market value) and uplifting them during our ownership. We then sell them on-market when the price that can be captured represents our investors’ best interests.
Investment in further development and innovation at Murrayshall will supplement improvements already made, helping the country estate to attract more guests, extend the season and thrive in a competitive post-Covid leisure and tourism market. With more rooms and a broader range of attractions, the ultimate aim is to help realise Murrayshall’s full revenue generating potential and maximise returns for our investors, both during our time as owners and when we eventually come to sell.
The way forward
What happens now? With our masterplan approved, we can begin drawing up detailed plans for each step of the coming development – keep an eye on our social media for further updates.
Jonathan Gain, CEO of Stellar Asset Management, has been closely involved in the masterplan development and consultations from the outset. Commenting on the approval of the masterplan, he said: “We are delighted to have earned the backing of Perth and Kinross Council and with the support we have received from the local community. The masterplan is the first step in a new chapter for Murrayshall. Investment in new rooms and facilities will help the country estate to adapt to changing consumer demands, create high quality employment for local people and achieve strong outcomes on behalf of our investors.”