Gladstone’s family pile gets £55m makeover

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A SCHEME to turn the family estate of former prime minister Sir William Gladstone into a tourist and leisure venue is going ahead, creating hundreds of jobs, after it was granted approval by planning authorities.

The £55 million development includes the building of 115 homes at Fasque House estate in Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire.

As revealed by Scotland on Sunday in April, a feasibility study predicted at least 275 jobs will be created as the estate gains an equestrian centre, farm shop and visitor centre.

The project will take between seven and ten years to complete, with work due to start in the spring.

Fasque House was built around 1810 and sold in 1829 to John Gladstone, the uncle of Sir William, who was a regular visitor.

The development is the brainchild of Fasque House Properties’ managing director, Douglas Dick-Reid.

He currently runs the property as a wedding and conference venue and will use the additional revenue streams to support full restoration of the house.

“Since taking on the project in 2009, the key goal has been to maintain and restore Fasque House to its former glory,” he said.

“That’s initially why we applied for relevant approval as an enabling development was the only way ahead and we’re delighted councillors have made a supporting decision.”

Revenue generated from the project will not only be ploughed back into the A-listed house itself, but also the property’s further 19 buildings and structures, many of which are on the Buildings at Risk register.