Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

From oil and gas to luxury lodges: new venture for former Hydrasun man

Robert and Kelly McAlpine at the ground-breaking ceremony
Robert and Kelly McAlpine at the ground-breaking ceremony

A former oil and gas industry boss and his family are pouring more than £1million into a new tourism business in Stonehaven.

Bob McAlpine, who had spells as group operations director at Balmoral Group and chief operating officer at Hydrasun, is now focused on giving visitors to the north-east somewhere to stay.

A formal ground-breaking ceremony for his new luxury lodge development overlooking Stonehaven Bay took place yesterday.

McAlpine, 61, is not the only family member taking their career in a new direction in a new dawn for the area’s economy after the oil slump.

His daughter, Kelly, who also worked for Hydrasun, will be site manager at Dalriada Luxury Lodges.

Alan Buchan Contractors, based at Brathens, near Banchory, aims to have the first phase of an eight-lodge project done by October.

It is carrying out the work using kits supplied by Scotframe Timber Engineering, of Inverurie.

Mr McAlpine said he had spotted a gap at the top end of the local holiday market

He added: “We think there is demand for very high quality, self-catering accommodation in the north-east of Scotland and the family will invest well over £1million to bring this development to life.

“Four full time jobs will be created in our company this year and more will follow next year.

“We will support local suppliers wherever possible, and expect to bring visitors and tourists to the area who may otherwise have gone to alternative regions.”

The new two-bedroomed luxury lodges will help wider efforts to diversify the north-east economy he said, adding: “The oil and gas industry has swamped everything for so long.”

Mr McAlpine sought advice from tourism industry veteran Stewart Spence, owner of the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen.

Support and encouragement has also come from organisations including VisitScotland and Aberdeenshire Council.

VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson said: “Delivering a quality experience that meets and exceeds visitor expectations is crucial in making Aberdeenshire a must-visit, must-return destination.

“Tourism is a key factor in ensuring communities thrive across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, fuelling job opportunities and business growth.”

Mr McAlpine and Aberdeen-based energy service firm Hydrasun parted company around the end of 2015, when the company restructured its management team in response to the oil slump.

He continues to offer advice and expertise to the offshore industry as the owner and managing director of Dalriada Management Services.

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts