Trump Organisation claims £150m Turnberry investment

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Donald Trump at TurnberryImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Donald Trump bought Turnberry in 2014

The amount of investment in Donald Trump's Turnberry golf resort has shot up to about £150m, his representatives have told BBC Scotland.

After buying the Ayrshire resort in 2014, the US presidential hopeful vowed to spend £200m on renovating it.

Accounts filed last week with Companies House revealed that his organisation had invested just £18m by the end of 2015.

But on Friday, his representatives said that figure had now risen to £150m.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Trump Organisation said: "The accounts submitted to Companies House reflect the financial year from 2015 and the first phase of the renovation, which included the clubhouse, the Wee Links pitch and putt and selected function spaces within the hotel.

"To date, the total expenditure equals around £150m, with the large majority of the work taking place through the year of 2016."

The spokesman said work had included "transforming" the Ailsa golf course, introducing a grand ballroom, refurbishing the 103-bedroom Turnberry hotel and adding a two-bedroom luxury suite and halfway house to the Turnberry Lighthouse.

He added: "Construction is currently taking place on Trump Turnberry's second course, following consultation with golf architect Martin Ebert, with further, extensive, renovation planned for The Spa at Turnberry and the Villas at Trump Turnberry."

Image source, Reuters

Meanwhile, representatives of Mr Trump have blamed "exhaustive red tape" and planning system "obstacles" for hampering progress in developing his Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire.

The Trump Organisation had envisaged about 6,000 construction jobs and 2,000 operational posts over the long-term, multi-phased development at Menie, which Mr Trump opened in July 2012 after a lengthy battle with local people and environmentalists. Mr Trump also attempted to block plans for an offshore wind farm near his course.

Company accounts up to the end of 2015 showed only 95 people were employed on average last year.

'Extremely difficult'

Sarah Malone, from Trump International Golf Links, told BBC Scotland that in addition to "core staff", the company provided work for more than 50 caddies and supported "countless businesses and service providers locally and nationally".

She said: "To date over 500 people have been engaged in the first phase of construction and development, and we continue to retain a leading team of regional and national consultants including planners, engineers, architects, designers and environmental experts on the creation of future phases.

"I should highlight that had it not been for the exhaustive red tape and obstacles presented through the planning system, the pace of our project would have been accelerated."

Ms Malone said it was "nothing short of ridiculous" that it had taken 40 planning applications, 24 planning hearings, a full public inquiry and parliamentary hearing just to build phase one.

She also said the company had also been forced to "waste valuable resources, money and time" on fighting the location of an offshore wind farm near the property.

"The system has not supported big investment, it has made it extremely difficult," she added.

Donald Trump's two Scottish golf courses together lost about £9.5m last year.

Trump Turnberry made a loss of almost £8.4m, while Menie lost nearly £1.1m.

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