The developer behind Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is in talks to back a £450m housing and leisure development at Loudon Castle, despite the scheme being called in by the Scottish Government.
Harcourt Developments is close to agreeing to join the Loudoun Woods consortium that is driving the development in East Ayrshire, south-west Scotland.
Harcourt’s Paul Manning said Loudoun Castle had the potential to become “one of the UK’s most successful tourism destinations” and that Harcourt was “engaged in very positive discussions and hopes to be able to conclude an agreement to join the Loudoun Woods consortium”.
The talks come despite a previous application to develop the site being rejected by East Ayrshire council in May this year.
The council threw out the plans due to insufficient information about the development.
However, it left the option open for future approval of the scheme, which was deemed to be of “national significance” by local planners.
Head of the Loudoun Woods consortium David Mace said Harcourt’s interest “speaks volumes for the quality and international scope of what we are planning”.
The development would see Loudoun Castle redeveloped into a luxury hotel, with luxury holiday lodges and indoor leisure facilities built in the grounds.
Loudoun Castle Harcourt Developments
It would also see 1,000 energy-efficient homes built to help fund the development.
The new plans will be considered by Scottish Government ministers.
The 19th-century Loudoun castle was gutted by a fire in 1941. The ruins have a Category A classification from the Scottish Government.
In 1995 a theme park was opened at the site, but was closed in 2010.