Apr 12th, 2016

£20 million luxury Scottish golf hotel under investigation

Police called into Whitekirk Golf & Country Club

£20 million luxury Scottish golf hotel under investigation

Police are investigating a £20 million luxury hotel development at one of Scotland’s major golf courses.

 

Investors in the project say they have yet to see a penny back or a return on their investment.

Police have been investigating the scheme after complaints from investors.

 

Golf Coast PLC, the company behind the development, proposed a 100-bed luxury hotel on the site of Whitekirk Golf and Country Club in North Berwick, East Lothian. Their plans included 21 holiday homes, 40 houses and a second golf course to be designed by Open winner Paul Laurie. The aim was to turn Whitekirk into a leading golf holiday destination.

 

But since the hotel development was first proposed in 2012, no work has been undertaken and Paul Lawrie has since severed any connection with the developers.

 

Alarm bells started ringing in February when Whitekirk Golf & Country Club was shut down after it ran into debt and Npower even switched off the power supply over an unpaid bill.

 

HMRC then raised a petition for an unpaid tax bill, which was only lifted on Monday when Golf Coast settled. It is also understood some Whitekirk employees claim they’ve not been paid redundancy money.

 

A letter from Golf Coast PLC, issued to employees earlier this month, said the company had temporarily ceased operations at the club to avoid getting into further debt.

 

Three Scottish businessmen – who have invested around £350,000 in the project – contacted Police Scotland last year with their concerns.

 

Whitekirk opened in 1995 and has staged major events on the Mastercard Tour and PGA EuroPro Tour.

 

Golf Coast previously traded under the names Map Asset Holdings PLC and Whitekirk Leisure Ltd.

 

One investor, who loaned Map Asset Holdings around £200,000 in 2014, was due to get his money back later that year with interest but has told police he is yet to see a penny. It is understood he is also taking court action against Golf Coast, in a separate bid to get his money back.

 

A friend of one of the investors said: “None of them think they will get their money back. They should all have been repaid by now – with interest. They contacted Police Scotland as they were concerned with the way it was being administered. The police appear to be taking it very seriously.”

 

Whitekirk Golf and Country Club has a gym, swimming pool and restaurant and is owned by a local farming family, who lease it to Golf Coast.

 

A pension bond was set up in 2014 by Map in an attempt to attract up to £20million of investment to fund the building of the hotel development.

 

The 23-page bond brochure carries a photo of Scots golf star Lawrie and comments from him about his role in providing a new course at Whitekirk.

 

Potential investors were warned in the promotional material from Map – now Golf Coast – that any investment by them carried a substantial risk.

 

Yesterday, Golf Coast said they were unaware of any police investigation and had dropped plans for a second golf course.

 

A spokesman added: “All investors who hold investments within the company bond are fully paid to date. The company confirms their investments are fully regulated.

 

“A formal commencement statement will be released in due course for the development.

The company intends to reopen the golf course in the coming months. Payments have been made to HMRC in settlement of their obligations.

Police Scotland said: “We have received a report of alleged fraudulent activity concerning Map Asset Holdings and inquiries are ongoing.”

For more golfing skull duggery click here or on the image below.

 

 

Police are investigating a £20 million luxury hotel development at one of Scotland’s major golf courses.

Investors in the project say they have yet to see a penny back or a return on their investment. Police have been investigating the scheme after complaints from investors.

Golf Coast PLC, the company behind the development, proposed a 100-bed luxury hotel on the site of Whitekirk Golf and Country Club in North Berwick, East Lothian. Their plans included 21 holiday homes, 40 houses and a second golf course to be designed by Open winner Paul Laurie. The aim was to turn Whitekirk into a leading golf holiday destination.

But since the hotel development was first proposed in 2012, no work has been undertaken and Paul Lawrie has since severed any connection with the developers.

Alarm bells started ringing in February when Whitekirk Golf & Country Club was shut down after it ran into debt and Npower even switched off the power supply over an unpaid bill.

HMRC then raised a petition for an unpaid tax bill, which was only lifted on Monday when Golf Coast settled. It is also understood some Whitekirk employees claim they’ve not been paid redundancy money.

A letter from Golf Coast PLC, issued to employees earlier this month, said the company had temporarily ceased operations at the club to avoid getting into further debt.

Three Scottish businessmen – who have invested around £350,000 in the project – contacted Police Scotland last year with their concerns.

Whitekirk opened in 1995 and has staged major events on the Mastercard Tour and PGA EuroPro Tour.

Golf Coast previously traded under the names Map Asset Holdings PLC and Whitekirk Leisure Ltd.

One investor, who loaned Map Asset Holdings around £200,000 in 2014, was due to get his money back later that year with interest but has told police he is yet to see a penny. It is understood he is also taking court action against Golf Coast, in a separate bid to get his money back.

A friend of one of the investors said: “None of them think they will get their money back. They should all have been repaid by now – with interest. They contacted Police Scotland as they were concerned with the way it was being administered. The police appear to be taking it very seriously.”

Whitekirk Golf and Country Club has a gym, swimming pool and restaurant and is owned by a local farming family, who lease it to Golf Coast.

A pension bond was set up in 2014 by Map in an attempt to attract up to £20million of investment to fund the building of the hotel development.

The 23-page bond brochure carries a photo of Scots golf star Lawrie and comments from him about his role in providing a new course at Whitekirk.

Potential investors were warned in the promotional material from Map – now Golf Coast – that any investment by them carried a substantial risk.

Yesterday, Golf Coast said they were unaware of any police investigation and had dropped plans for a second golf course.

A spokesman added: “All investors who hold investments within the company bond are fully paid to date. The company confirms their investments are fully regulated.

“A formal commencement statement will be released in due course for the development.

The company intends to reopen the golf course in the coming months. Payments have been made to HMRC in settlement of their obligations.

Police Scotland said: “We have received a report of alleged fraudulent activity concerning Map Asset Holdings and inquiries are ongoing.”

For more golf skull duggery click here or on the image below.

£20 million luxury Scottish golf hotel under investigation

 

 

 

TAGS: Golf in Scotland