Canadian firm Sandman to establish first Scottish hotel
A Canada-based hospitality group has announced that it is to establish its first hotel in Scotland.
Sandman Hotel Group said it would open a hotel in Aberdeen after buying a city centre site from Robert Gordon University (RGU).
Sandman plans to invest nearly £20m to transform RGU's St Andrews Street building into a four-star hotel complex with 220 rooms.
It will be the group's third base in the UK.
The company has already established hotels at Newcastle and London Gatwick.
Sandman has estimated that nearly 80 new jobs will be created during the construction phase, followed by more than 150 posts in its hotel and restaurant operations.
The group said it would involve a phased opening, with first rooms available within the next two years.
The multi-million pound deal will allow the university to continue with the development of its Garthdee campus.
RGU principal Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski said: "The sale of St Andrews Street to Sandman Hotel Group will provide major benefits to the city as well as RGU.
"The capital received will allow us to continue with the development of our teaching and learning facilities, providing our students with an outstanding educational environment.
"In addition, the city will benefit from a new four-star hotel and a development which will help drive forward the regeneration of Aberdeen's city centre."
Welcoming the announcement, First Minister Alex Salmond said it was "excellent news" for Aberdeen's tourism industry.
He added: "While this new hotel will undoubtedly benefit business tourism in the Aberdeen area, visitor numbers from overseas markets continue to grow.
"The Sandman Hotel Group has seen the golden opportunity Scotland presents and I'm delighted to see them investing upward of £20m in their new Aberdeen city centre hotel."