Tomatin Trading Company advancing plans for £12m Highland development after legal win

The Tomatin Trading Company is pressing ahead with plans to deliver its £12 million retail and leisure development in the Highlands after winning a legal battle regarding its name.

The venture, consisting of a 99-bedroom hotel, a 200-seater restaurant, four retail units, a petrol station, and a farm shop, can now use the name Tomatin Trading Company, after its "landmark” legal victory over Tomatin Distillery, which had objected to the use of the name Tomatin.

The site, located between Aviemore and Inverness at the Tomatin junction on the A9, is expected to create hundreds of jobs and revive the site, which previously housed a hotel, and latterly a café and filling station, having lain unused for well over a decade.

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William Frame, the businessman behind the project, said: “We are delighted with the court’s verdict, and can finally, after a two-year delay, look forward to kicking off this important development.

The venture's centrepiece will be a 99-bedroom hotel, with the whole development serving as a 'gateway to the Highland Capital'. Picture: contributed.

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A mix of full and part-time managerial jobs in retail and hospitality roles will be created on the launch of the new Tomatin Trading Company, with more set to follow.

Mr Frame added: “Our development is an opportunity to create what’s known as a ‘Dior’, a Destination in its Own Right, a high-quality stop-off of choice for both tourists and locals from all over the Spey Valley, Inverness, and the surrounding area.”

Simon Bath, formerly of the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, is to be general manager of the Tomatin Trading Company, and said the business would look to work in partnership with local suppliers, artisan producers, and visitor attractions.

Duncan Macpherson, independent Highland councillor for the area, said: “I am delighted that Tomatin Trading Company has won its legal case, and is now able to commence.” He also said the architect plans for the development “are befitting of a gateway to the Highland Capital”.

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland regional leadership director, also lent support to the project, saying: “This news is an encouraging step forward for tourism in the Highlands. The creation of 100 new jobs is very welcome news at a time when so many jobs in the tourism, events and hospitality business have been lost. I look forward to seeing this new development take shape.”

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