Largo Road site pulls in property investors

The former abattoir in St Andrews.
The former abattoir in St Andrews.

The new Marks & Spencer and Premier Inn development under way at Largo Road, St Andrews, is being seen as one of the most attractive property investments in Scotland.

Developer Crucible (St Andrews Ltd) has signed a funding agreement for the scheme with clients of Aberdeen Asset Management.

Stuart Orr, of FB Burnett, advising Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “The strength of St Andrews’ tourism is well understood and it is clear that with the average cost of a hotel room at nearly £170 per room per night, St Andrews needs a hotel operator such as Premier Inn to provide a more affordable offer, and hence we expect it to trade well.

“Similarly, the demographic of St Andrews is such that we expect Marks & Spencer will trade well from this location.

“This, therefore, represents a very robust and defensive acquisition for Aberdeen Asset Management’s client and I look forward to seeing the completed development.”

Commenting on the acquisition of the development, Asset Management’s assistant fund manager Laura Hughes added: “We are delighted to have been able to fund the development in partnership with Crucible.

“The location of the site and tenant line-up, with both Marks & Spencer and Premier Inn signed up on long-term leases, means this is an extremely attractive investment for our clients.”

Since obtaining planning consent in January 2014, Crucible has been going through the process of satisfying all the conditions set by Fife Council, including obtaining all necessary building warrants and completing the detailed design of the development.

Commenting on the progress to date, development company spokesman Brian Robinson said: “ We are delighted that the people of St Andrews can now see something coming out of the ground on this site.

“We have been involved in the project for more than two years and it is extremely satisfying to see the construction of this development commencing.

“A huge amount of effort has gone into getting to this stage and we are hopeful that the construction phase of the development will progress smoothly.”

Crucible has appointed ISG Construction Ltd to build the development.

It expects the old abattoir complex to be completely demolished and construction to be under way within six weeks, with completion of the development scheduled for early next summer.