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Future plans revealed for rundown ex hotel

By Christie Breen
Future plans revealed for rundown ex hotel

A FEASIBILTY study is underway at Newton Stewart’s dilapidated Grapes Hotel, as a community group plans to transform the building.

The Newton Stewart Initiative (NSI) ordered the study as part of their plans to restore the ‘eyesore’ hotel on Victoria Street.

Their ambitious scheme aims to create affordable accommodation on the upper floors, and also create a new home for their popular community shop once further funding is secured.

Giving more detail about NSI’s plans for the abandoned hotel, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “NSI have been in conversation with the owner of the Grapes Hotel since it was purchased at auction in 2022.

“The Local Place Plan consultations, that have been ongoing since February 2023, allowed residents to share their views on what they wanted to see in Newton Stewart in the future. Many contributors described the Grapes as an ‘eyesore’ and wanted to see something done with it. NSI successfully negotiated with the owner who said he would be happy to sell it to NSI on the condition that it was used for community purposes.

“Since then we have, successfully acquired funding form the Scottish Land Fund and Architectural Heritage Fund to conduct feasibility studies and surveys on the building and commissioned Collective Architecture to conduct these.

“NSI are working closely with South Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH) as the intention is to build affordable accommodation upstairs. This was also noted on the Local Place Plan as being something needed within the town.

“We are planning to move our community shop into the downstairs location as it has outgrown the building it is currently in.

“Stage one of the work is expected to take up to three months. Further funding applications will be in to ensure the completion of the build.”

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