Shadow hangs over Accies’ masterplan for Raeburn

Artist's impression of the Edinburgh Academicals' Clubhouse. Raeburn House Hotel, Raeburn Place.

Artist's impression of the Edinburgh Academicals' Clubhouse. Raeburn House Hotel, Raeburn Place.

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A HOTEL earmarked to become the clubhouse of Scotland’s oldest rugby team has gone into administration.

The Raeburn House Hotel was due to be refurbished and extended for Edinburgh Academicals Rugby Club after nine years of planning. However, the project has been put on hold after the establishment’s loss-making owner, Festival Inns, was broken up by leisure tycoon Kenny Waugh.

KMPG has been appointed administrator and hopes to find a replacement developer.

The hotel, in Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, dates to 1832 and comprises a large detached villa and surrounding gardens adjacent to the rugby club premises.

The Raeburn House Hotel Limited is the last remaining asset of the Festival Group, which was subject of a recent restructuring.

Festival Inns had entered into an agreement with the club, known as Edinburgh Accies, whereby they planned to lease extra ground to develop the existing hotel and build a sports pavilion and club facilities.

KPMG said due to the current climate the company is no longer able to honour the agreement, and the administrator is looking for a buyer for the freehold interest in the Raeburn House Hotel only.

Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland, said: “The Raeburn ceased trading approximately six years ago and since then has been exploring opportunities to reinvent itself.

“Unfortunately, the current climate limits developers undertaking schemes similar to those envisaged by the Raeburn and Edinburgh Academicals Rugby Club.

“The Raeburn is located in a much sought-after location in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh which, we are hopeful, will attract prospective purchasers.”

The Edinburgh Academicals Rugby Club, formed in 1857, is the second-oldest rugby football club in the world.

The club’s ground at Raeburn Place, dubbed “the cradle of rugby football in Scotland”, staged the international match between Scotland and England in 1871. It also hosted the first Calcutta Cup game.

rory.reynolds@edinburghnews.com