NEWS RELEASE Friday, 30 November 2012

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle marks handover of Blairquhan Castle to new Chinese owners

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes (pictured below) presided at a ceremony this week to mark the official handover of historic Blairquhan Castle in Straiton to its new Chinese owners.

The castle has been sold to a Chinese company which bottles mineral water for distribution around the world.

The new owners of the 190-year-old castle in the heart of the Ayrshire countryside are Ganten Scotland, an offshoot of an international business based in the south China province of Guangdong.

The Regency House property will continue to provide upmarket accommodation, but with a renewed focus on guests from the Far East.

Blairquhan Castle (pictured above), the 14-bedroom ancestral home of Sir Patrick and Lady Hunter Blair, was put on the market for £4.85 million two years ago.

Now a deal has been done that secures the future of the house itself along with the successful weddings and conference business and the jobs of local staff.

Sir Patrick, the 9th Baronet of Dunskey, has confirmed that the family estate will be repositioned around Milton of Blairquhan, the dower house. Sir Patrick said: "Marguerite and I look forward to supporting our new neighbours in this exciting venture.

"This is great news for the local economy." Sir Patrick Hunter Blair, formerly of Carsphairn, moved back to Scotland from County Down, Northern Ireland, when he inherited the property in 2004.

Blairquhan's interiors were used to represent Balmoral in the hit film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, one of many times that the castle has featured in movies and on television.

[Pictured at the handover ceremony at Blairquhan Castle, left to right: Mrs Amanda Zhou, Mr Michael Zhou, Sir Patrick Hunter Blair, Ronan Hunter Blair, Niamh Hunter Blair, Lady Marguerite Hunter Blair, Deaglan Hunter Blair, Dara Hunter Blair, Caoimhe Hunter Blair, and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes.]

The new owners have pledged to be sympathetic custodians of the fine house and surrounding lands, having already spent much time at the estate.

Mr Zhou Jing Liang, owner and managing director of Ganten China, said: "Every care shall be taken in the future preservation and maintenance of these valued and traditional assets.

"Ganten wish to expand and diversify in Scotland with the aim of becoming a provider of top level accommodation and hospitality for elite Chinese and foreign tourists who desire only the best."

Their aim is to stimulate business between China and Scotland and believe that they are the trailblazers, bringing valuable investment to Scotland.

The company are very sensitive to the cultural and historical aspects of Scotland and wish their move to be seen as promoting business here and culture in China.

Mr Zhou added: "It is the wish of Ganten to bring together the cultures of China and Scotland, by encouraging even greater tourist opportunities to the ever-growing affluent Chinese market.

"Ganten wish to become a pioneering, China-based organisation who shall bring to Scotland a sound and innovative platform for mutually beneficial tourist, cultural and commercial ventures."

About Frazer Coogans Solicitors

Frazer Coogans was originally established in Ayr in 1985. In 1995, the current Senior Director, Norman Geddes, took over the firm. From humble beginnings, Norman Geddes led Frazer Coogans into rapid expansion to be one of the leading and most respected law firms in Ayrshire.

In 2003, Frazer Coogans successfully attained “Investors in People” standard and has since retained this standard. The firm is very proactive in encouraging secretarial staff to advance their roles within the firm and develop within their specialist area. Frazer Coogans now has trained paralegals supporting the solicitors in every department. Experienced and well trained staff are the cornerstone of any business. By encouraging staff to gain their full potential the firm aims to maximise the talent of the staff and as a result Frazer Coogans is able to provide a first class legal service to all clients on all levels.

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