DCSIMG

Whyte’s former Highland castle up for sale again

Castle Grant went up for sale after Craig Whyte failed to make repayments. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Castle Grant went up for sale after Craig Whyte failed to make repayments. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

THE Highland castle repossessed from disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has gone back on the market.

The £1.1 million property had originally been snapped up just hours after bankers placed it on the market.

But the buyers – the first to have viewed the historic castle when it was first advertised last month – have now pulled out.

The property, on the outskirts of Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, is now being advertised again.

Last month, it was thought that a woman based in Aberdeen, who wished to remain anonymous, had made a successful offer for the castle within days of it going on sale.

At the time, Kevin Maley, of selling agents Strutt & Parker, said: “This has been a very quick sale for a property of this size.”

The stately home includes mature parkland gardens, a landscaped loch and about 35 acres of private land. There is a cinema room, billiards room, library, four bedrooms and a guest wing.

The castle was redeveloped in the 1990s before it was sold to Whyte but is now said to need “significant investment”.

Strutt and Parker has confirmed the property was being advertised for sale again.

Whyte was evicted from the castle after being unable to pay the mortgage. The businessman and his former wife Kim purchased the property for £720,000 in 2006 with a 110 per cent mortgage of £800,000.

But she moved out after their marriage fell apart, and he reportedly refused to pay the £7,000-a-month mortgage for two years.

The Bank of Scotland raised a legal action against him last year after he had failed to make the repayments from 2012. The battle came to an end at Inverness Sheriff Court when Whyte finally agreed to repossession.

He sought help from his father Tom who supervised workmen as they cleared the castle of his belongings. The clear-out included reportedly the siphoning off of oil from the central heating system and ripping out chandeliers to be transported back to his London home.

Castle Grant is the ancient ancestral seat of the Chiefs of the Grant Clan. In the early 1990s there was an extensive programme of refurbishment undertaken and the castle was sold to Whyte with “considerable development opportunities”.

Whyte is no stranger to the courts. He has already been ordered to pay investment firm Ticketus £17.7m after failing to disclose full details about his business pedigree when he took over Rangers.

He had sealed the deal to take control at Ibrox with money from Ticketus – paid in exchange for the rights to three years’ worth of season ticket revenue. Whyte initially denied making any such deal, but later admitted the truth. The Ticketus case could force him into bankruptcy.

He has also been embroiled in court battles with his estranged wife over £5,000-a-month maintenance, which he was instructed to pay by the courts.

In December last year, his former housekeepers Jane Hagan and her husband Terence Horan were convicted of stealing thousands of pounds worth of goods from the castle. But the sheriff also criticised evidence given by Whyte.

 

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