The Cumberland Building Society announces six figure investment in the Strathardle Lodge
The Cumberland Building Society has announced a six-figure investment to support the acquisition of a guest house and cake school in Perthshire, Scotland.
The investment in Strathardle Lodge, an 18th-century Jacobean property set amongst woodlands and in the foothills of the Cairngorm National Park, demonstrates The Cumberland’s continued commitment to lending within the hospitality industry.
Lee Doswell, commercial relationship manager, and Natalie Richardson, commercial associate at the Carlisle-based Building Society, worked on the project, which involved
financing over half of the purchase of the property, previously named Strathardle Inn, by well-known cake decorating expert Paul Bradford and partner David Brice.
The couple purchased the property in December 2021 to offer a new and unique experience for guests visiting the Perthshire countryside by combining luxury, dog-friendly
accommodation with the provision of residential cake courses, led by Paul.
Situated in one of the most picturesque and unspoiled parts of Scotland, Strathardle Lodge offers guests the chance to enjoy many walking and cycling routes and even
skiing in nearby Glenshee during the winter.
As part of the investment, Strathardle Lodge is currently undergoing a renovation to upgrade its nine guest rooms as well as to build a brand-new gym on the property.
In addition to sourcing all produce and materials locally, the owners plan to make the property more sustainable by installing solar panels on the land. They are also exploring opportunities to expand the leisure facilities offer to ensure that there is a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of guests.
Renowned for his cake decorating skills, Paul Bradford has over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has created cakes for the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Albert
of Monaco. He is the lead tutor at CakeFlix, the first subscription-based online cake decorating tutorial website, which now has over 200k followers. David runs the administrative parts of the business including the website, marketing and finance.
David Brice said: “It has been a pleasure to work with The Cumberland to make our dream of creating a beautiful rural getaway into a reality. Both Lee and Natalie made purchasing Strathardle Lodge not only possible, but a much smoother and less stressful process than we had ever anticipated, particularly as we were living in Spain for much of the process. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate highland hospitality for our guests as well as offering a unique retreat to enhance creativity for those who attend our cake school.”
Lee Doswell, commercial relationship manager at The Cumberland, commented: “We’re really pleased to be a part of Paul and David’s venture into the guest house industry, which, combined with a residential cake school and a highly desirable location, brings a unique and exciting offering. With a successful business background behind them, we have no doubt that they will make Strathardle Lodge a huge success and we’re proud to be part of such an exciting and innovative project.”
“Although the pandemic has brought many challenges to the hospitality industry, we have a really positive outlook when it comes to hotels and holiday lets
and we’re looking forward to showing our continued support towards hospitality lending as the year progresses.”
Scott McKerracher, head of commercial at The Cumberland, added: “We’re expecting to see more challenges in the hospitality industry in the next year, including
staff shortages and inflationary pressures, adding to the sense of instability.
“However, many businesses have still been able to snap up great opportunities to invest - David and Paul’s project is a perfect example of this. It’s a really exciting time for the future of hospitality, and this new chapter for Strathardle Lodge promises to bring something special to the stunning Perthshire countryside.”