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RECENTLY released accounts have revealed that local hotels Peebles Hydro and The Park have been operating at a loss, writes Martin Macdonald.

The data for the 2015/16 financial year shows the two Peebles hotels delivered a loss of £703,821.

Both hotels are operated by Crieff Hydro, Scotland's oldest registered trading company.

The Peebles hotels combined returned revenue of £4.2 million for the 12 months, down 3.7 per cent on last year.

Despite the losses posted in Peebles, Crieff Hydro recorded overall revenue of £24.3 million and a pre-tax profit of £265,048.

These results are set against a backdrop of significant investment, with £1.8million spent on renovating both of the Peebles hotels.

Despite the poor financial performance in the Borders, Stephen Leckie, CEO of Crieff Hydro, was sanguine about the situation.

He said: “In Peebles, this was a year of transition.

"Both hotels were closed for a combined period of 17 weeks at the start of 2016 to refurbish their public areas, resulting in a creative new look and feel but with an impact on revenue.”

In addition to updated furnishings, the menus and bars in both hotels have been overhauled.

The opening of a 'Gin Palace' looks set to capitalise on the continuing resurgence of the spirit, with over 100 varieties on offer.

Crieff Hydro appear undeterred by the latest financial results and Leckie revealed there are plans “to invest a further £1.1 million this year".

Leckie added: “We always knew we were investing for the long term when we bought the two hotels in 2014 and remain confident they'll prove to be an excellent long-term acquisition.

"Indeed, this year is looking good and our future bookings pipeline is encouraging too."