Aberdeen hospital to become second Scotsman Hotel

Plans to create a luxury hotel at the former Simpson Pavilion hospital building in Aberdeen have been given the green light in move that will see The Scotsman name push into the city.

An artist's impression of the planned Scotsman Hotel at the historic Woolmanhill Hospital site in Aberdeen. Image: Contributed

A multi-million pound development to transform the A-listed building at Woolmanhill Hospital into a 52-bedroom hotel, the second under The Scotsman brand, has now received full planning and listed building consent.

Stefan King’s Glasgow-based hospitality firm G1 Group has been named as the owner and occupier of the hotel and scores of planned serviced apartments.

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This follows G1 Group’s takeover of The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh – the former home of this newspaper – in March 2017, where it launched the Grand Café last year.

Subject to further planning permission, the former hospital’s B-listed Stephen building is to become 27 serviced apartments to be operated by the hotel, while two additional B-listed buildings will be converted to form 42 apartments.

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, acting on the instruction of NHS Grampian, sold the iconic hospital complex to local developer CAF Properties, who lodged initial plans to convert the premises in 2016.

The planned £10 million refurbishment at Woolmanhill will incorporate a bar, restaurant and cinema club experience, as well as a range of venues for weddings and private functions in the central courtyard.

There are also plans to turn a brick-vaulted basement at the former hospital into a late-night jazz bar.

The buildings are located in a conservation area and comprise six buildings totalling 118,213 square foot.

Charlie Ferrari, director of CAF Properties, said: “This deal marks the culmination of four years hard work with the possibly of another four to follow to ensure that we finish with a prime product in this new up and coming area of the city.

“We are delighted to have landed the G1 Group as they will produce an outstanding development. I would also like to thank NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council for their commitment in resolving an enormous variety of issues over the period.”

James Morrison, associate, commercial agency at Shepherds in Aberdeen, added: “We are delighted to conclude this sale on behalf of NHS Grampian, which marks a vote of confidence in the buoyancy of Aberdeen’s leisure sector and a significant step in the resurgence of the local economy, all adding to a recovery from the well-publicised dip in the oil and energy sector.”

Construction of the hospital, designed by William Christall, began in 1740. However, Archibald Simpson, Aberdeen’s most famous architect, designed the Simpson Pavilion in 1833.