Scotland business

Machrie golf course saved by power couple

Machrie golf course
Image caption Machrie is rated as one of the world's top links courses

A leading golf course and hotel on the Isle of Islay have been saved from financial collapse by a former BBC chairman and his wife, a close adviser to former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Gavyn Davies and Baroness Sue Nye have bought Machrie Hotel and Golf Links for an undisclosed sum.

Designed 120 years ago, Machrie is considered one of the best links courses in the world.

The course and hotel were placed in administration seven months ago.

The future development of the facility will be managed by G3k, whose chief executive is Stewart Smith, a Scottish golf professional of 28 years.

'Historic course'

Joint administrator Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland, said: "Following a seven-month search for a buyer, it is extremely satisfying to have concluded the sale of the Machrie Hotel and the Machrie Golf Links.

"The Machrie is an internationally recognized golfing venue, and both the hotel and golf course are of significant importance to the local economy on Islay, and as such it is particularly pleasing to have achieved this sale which will hopefully ensure the future of this historic course."

The Machrie estate is located on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, and comprises a 16-bedroom hotel, 15 separate lodges, golf shop and the 71-par championship golf course, designed by Willie Campbell in 1891.

The new owners have said they intend to renovate the buildings.

Mr Davies, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs who now runs a billion pound hedge fund, is an enthusiastic golfer with a particular interest in links courses.

He made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Machrie business about seven years ago when it was last on the market.

Baroness Nye was a director of government relations and former diary secretary to ex-British prime minister Gordon Brown. She was made a life peer in 2010.

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