Business in brief: Brora hotel | US growth figures

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FORMER Tulloch Homes chief executive David Sutherland has bought the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora in what is believed to have been a seven-figure deal.

Sutherland, who is president of Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, bought the hotel as part of a consortium that includes Swiss investor Ferdinand Hinteregger.

Hinteregger and Tulloch Homes had bought the 21-bedroom, four-star hotel in 2004. The building, which was designed by architect Sir Robert Lorimer, was constructed in 1913 as a country house. Lorimer also restored nearby Dunrobin Castle in 1915 following a fire.

US growth expected to continue rising

Economic growth in the United States unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter as businesses spent more and the government scaled back its spending cuts.

Between April and June, the world’s largest economy grew at an annualised rate of 1.7 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent during the first quarter, although that figure was revised down from a previous estimate of 1.8 per cent.

Economists had forecast a second-quarter reading of about 1 per cent and are now hopeful that growth could improve to around 2.5 per cent in the third and fourth quarters.

Gold miner warns of funding challenges

Scotgold Resources, which is aiming to create Scotland’s only commercial gold mine at its Cononish site near Tyndrum, has warned that finding the funds to develop the project is proving “severely challenging”.

The Aim-quoted miner said: “The board are considering all options with the twin objectives of preserving shareholder value and securing the funding to enable construction of the Cononish mine to commence on a feasible basis.”

Scotgold estimates it will cost £22 million to begin production at the site, which is believed to contain 82,600 ounces of gold.

Mercat Bar’s owner buys Whitecraig inn

A pub in the East Lothian village of Whitecraig has been purchased by Graham Blaikie, owner of Edinburgh’s Mercat Bar, in a six-figure deal.

He said: “When I took over my first pub eight years ago, the Mercat was one of the least-desirable establishments in the area. My team and I turned it into the gastropub it is today. That’s what I aim to achieve with my new venture, while also creating jobs.”

He plans to add bedrooms, extend seating in the conservatory restaurant and build a terrace bar at the Mercat Grill, formerly the Dolphin Inn.