St Andrews’ newest hotel was officially opened today (Thursday).
A pipe band from Madras College joined Jim Leishman, Provost of Fife, for the opening of the Premier Inn on the town’s Largo Road.
Provost Leishman did the honours with the ribbon cutting, alongside Tony Horan, Premier Inn’s cluster general manager for the region, and David Donnelly, operations manager for the hotel.
A piece of winning artwork was unveiled following the opening.
Kenya Smith from Madras College took part in a competition organised by the hotel for pupils in S1 to S3, who were invited to submit a piece of art which reflected what St Andrews means to them.
Kenya also received a cash prize of £50.
Second prize went to Tess Lynn, while Steven Nelson won third prize. Five pupils also received a commendation prize.
While Gerry Priest was the winner of a local photography competition, entitled ‘The Spirit of St Andrews’, in conjunction with St Andrews Photography Society.
His stunning image of St Andrews Cathedral will take pride of place in the hotel’s reception.
The £7m hotel development has created 25 new full and part-time jobs and four apprenticeships.
Around half of the positions filled have gone to those between the ages of 16 and 24 and the long term unemployed following a partnership with the Springboard Charity.
Provost Leishman said: “It gives me great pleasure today to officially open this wonderful, new Premier Inn hotel in St Andrews and to hear about the creation of so many jobs and apprenticeships.
“I’m immensely proud of the input from pupils and the teachers at Madras College who helped make the official launch a huge success.
“The new hotel will be a great addition to the fantastic array of accommodation we have here in St Andrews – I’m sure it will be a huge success.”
Tony Horan, from Premier Inn, said: “Thank you to everyone, including the Provost Jim Leishman, all of our guests and of course the great team we have on board who helped make our official launch a very special day.
“It was really important for us to work closely with the local community to involve them in our launch day plans and I can’t thank them enough.
“My congratulations go out to all three fantastic winners of the Madras College Art Competition, the school pipe band, who provided a real buzz of excitement to the day, and of course to Gerry for winning the local photography competition.”
Lynne Miller, head of music at Madras College, said: “The Madras College Pipe Band was delighted to kick off the celebrations outside and welcome everyone into the hotel as was Shona Zhang, the clarsach player, whose solo performance wowed guests as they mingled and enjoyed the competition unveilings.
“I’m absolutely delighted we were invited to join in the celebrations, which was a great opportunity and a memorable experience for our pupils.”