The new owners of the Dornoch Hotel are backing the new bid for a championship golf course at Coul Links, near Embo.

US property company Marine and Lawn Hotels and Resorts, which recently announced its purchase of the Dornoch Hotel, has donated £10,000 to Communities for Coul (C4C), the organization behind the renewed plan for the golf course.

The financial contribution helped C4C reach its fundraising goal of £150,000 to cover the costs of its planning application.

The Dornoch Hotel is currently closed for major renovations.

Marine Lawn Hotels and Resorts has a portfolio of five luxury hotels, all located in famous golf destinations in Scotland and Ireland.

The company’s president, Phillip Allan, visited the site of the proposed Coul Links with C4C members, and later expressed his support in a letter.

Mr Allan said: ‘The possibility of a golf course at Coul Links has certainly made investing in Dornoch more attractive.’

He pointed out that other parts of the UK boasted more “branded golf courses” which attracted golf tourists for longer stays, while Dornoch was known almost exclusively for Royal Dornoch.

Mr Allan said the development of Coul Links by golf course developer Mike Keizer with architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would change that perception.

“These three names are synonymous with golf course architecture at its best and they have created some of the best and most coveted golf destinations of the past 50 years,” he said.

“With Royal Dornoch and Coul Links serving as cornerstones of a golf trip to the Highlands, many other courses, such as Brora, Golspie and Tain – excellent courses in their own right, if not as famous as Royal Dornoch – will see also increased demand from visitors looking to maximize their leisure time and minimize their travel.”

Gordon Sutherland of C4C said: “We are very grateful to Phillip and his colleagues at Marine and Lawn Hotels and Resorts, both for their extremely generous donation and for their wholehearted support of our projects for Coul Links.

“Marine and Lawn Hotels and Resorts and C4C share aspirations to play a part in revitalizing Sutherland’s economy in a sustainable way and creating good employment opportunities for the people who live here. We look forward to working together .”

C4C is currently finalizing a planning application for the project, which will be submitted to Highland Council in due course.

The 122-room Dornoch Hotel has closed for major renovations and is set to reopen as the Dornoch Station Hotel next year.

When completed, the property will offer 89 more spacious rooms.

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