Regional Spotlight: Aberdeen

27 August 2004
Regional Spotlight: Aberdeen

The university city and port of Aberdeen, framed to the west by the Grampian Mountains and with a dramatic coastline, is the economic hub of the North-east of Scotland.

Derek Burgoyne, a director at Edinburgh-based property agent Bruce & Co, says the city offers a good bet for hospitality entrepreneurs as it is an affluent area and has lots of scope for the future.

Due to its relatively remote location, Aberdeen has developed its own individual character and a largely captive market. The city offers a good mix of student-orientated and traditional places, although very little comes on to the market, as many operators are happy to stay put.

The focus on local and business trade does mean that, on the hotel front, there are a lot of empty rooms at weekends, but Burgoyne reckons that the high occupancy rates in the week more than compensate.

"Aberdeen doesn't suffer the highs and lows of the oil industry that it used to," he says. "It's one of the hot spots in Scotland for high-turnover businesses. There's quite a lot of money around." To illustrate the point he flags up a business the company is marketing for offers of more than £1.2m, Lairhillock Inn and Crynoch restaurant, which turns over £1m a year.

There's a lot of competition for local pub businesses, as the big corporates are keen to get in to the city. Due to its relatively compact nature, there are no hot spots as such.

"The good news is that Aberdeen doesn't rely on tourism; the bad news is, there is no tourism," says Burgoyne, although he expects the situation to improve.

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