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Case Studies > Events and Hospitality

Gordon Castle, Fochabers, Moray


Case Study Events and Hospitality Gordon Castle, Fochabers, Moray www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Events and Hospitality The running of the much reduced Gordon Castle and Estate fell to Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox in 2008, and they set about modernising and improving the business that is Gordon Castle today. Turning it into a dynamic and forward looking enterprise once again puts it at the centre of the local community and will hopefully set it up to thrive and prosper well into the 21st Century and beyond.

They began by investing in the traditional estate businesses of salmon fishing on the river Spey, holiday cottage accommodation and farming, but the upkeep of Gordon Castle requires a lot more income than those alone can generate so they embarked on other projects.

Firstly the Castle was modernised to a luxury, but still homely, standard and make it available for luxury exclusive use hire for all occasions, by the day, week or even longer. Next the infrastructure to enable the Castle to host major events in the grounds was put in. One of these is the annual Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair.

These are highland games with a difference so they appeal to a much wider audience, young and old, from near and far. By incorporating a Country Fair alongside the games, with its own separate arena, together with a plethora of other attractions and shops and stalls it has become a hugely successful annual family day out. 2015 has seen the 5th event, increasingly successful each year.

It now has two arenas, and many events and other areas. These include an arena for the Heavy events, a Food Court, a Concert Corner, shops and stalls, a flying display, falconry, dog show, massed bands, gun dog display, fishing display, classic cars, Highland dancing, solo piping, archery, clay shooting, funfair, police dog display, children’s races, fire stunt spectacular....and many more. In 2015 9,000 people attended the games.

It has increased direct and indirect spend in Moray and Speyside and provides a superb opportunity for quality food and drink and other retailers to showcase their products to a wider national and international audience – and all in one day.

In 2011 visitors came mainly from Fochabers and the local community. By 2015, with the introduction of a on-line ticket system, it can be seen that bookings were made from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United States and by no means least the rest of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United States accounted for 10.6% of on-line sales. There was even a delegation from the Chinese embassy.

Other events organised which bring people to the area including car rallies and private parties, corporate events and whisky or golf tourists. Together with The Walled Garden project and the Estate’s traditional businesses, Gordon Castle is once again firmly on the map, employing many people, drawing many visitors to the area, and has become an important economic driver for the North East.
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