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'Boatique' hotel planned for Edinburgh

Press Association logoPress Association 10/03/2017 Ben Philip

Plans have been lodged to create Scotland's first "boatique hotel" in Edinburgh's historic port of Leith.

If approved, the MV Fingal ship, which dates back to 1963, will be converted into a 23-bedroom luxury hotel berthed permanently at the Prince of Wales dock.

The STG3.5 million ($A5.67 million) investment by the Royal Yacht Britannia's trading company Royal Yacht Enterprises will see the hotel open in Easter 2018 and create more than 30 permanent jobs.

The former Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) ship was purchased by Britannia in August 2014 and was recently used as part of the Dazzle Ship project by Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips, which coincided with commemorations of the First World War.

Bedrooms on the ship will be named after Stevenson lighthouses with interior design inspired by Fingal's rich maritime history.

The Royal Yacht Britannia was in service from 1954 to 1997, travelling more than a million nautical miles and for the Queen and members of the royal family was a residence for state occasions, official receptions, honeymoons and holidays.

It is now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh, attracting a record 350,000 visitors last year.

Britannia's chief executive Bob Downie said: "Having excelled in the visitor attraction market for nearly 20 years, we are very much looking forward to the challenges of operating in the luxury hotel market and the benefits it will generate for Britannia over the years to come."

Peter Lederer, former chairman of the Gleneagles Hotel, said: "This new 'boatique' hotel has the potential to be the best hotel experience in Edinburgh and given the quality of the Britannia experience, I am really looking forward to seeing a new benchmark in Scotland"

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