Whiteburn and Festival Inns Prove Straight Talking Works

In what has been an exciting year for developer/investors, Whiteburn, the Directors are celebrating the successful sale of their building at 45 Frederick Street to the Festival Hotels Ltd. Although the building was not being actively marketed, when an approach was made recently to John Shepherd of Whiteburn by agents acting for Festival, there followed a bit of straight talking and a deal was struck at £2.5million. Then with the support of expedient lawyers, missives concluded in what seemed like record time to close the deal.

The Festival Group, headed by entrepreneur Kenny Waugh, expanding their already extensive Edinburgh based operational and investment portfolio of bars, restaurants and hotels, identified this building with its successful street side café and basement nightclub, as a suitable fit within their overall mix.

For Whiteburn this concludes a successful property development and investment project. Purchased in 1995 from Seagram, using Malcolm Fraser Architects and John Dennis Contractors, Whiteburn completed the refurbishment of the elegant listed New Town building within nine months of acquisition, letting leisure and office space to tenants including Café Rouge, Po Na Na and Blue-Chip Marketing.

A delighted Mr Shepherd enthused, “It’s a fine building and was a bit of a barometer at the time for the Edinburgh market, having remained empty for five years following an aborted sale in 1990. We caught the upturn and managed to turn it around immediately to a ready market – with Café Rouge very much starting the trend for outside eating in Edinburgh. I’m very pleased to see the building go to Festival, whom I’m sure will go on to maximise its potential in the long term.”

Acting as agents on behalf of Festival Hotels Ltd, Jonathan Sutton of Roxburgh & Company added: “This is a superb opportunity for Festival in terms of a further strategic property investment within Edinburgh’s city centre. As part of an ongoing expansion programme, this purchase demonstrates the Group’s strong belief in the multiple licensed trade market in Scotland and Roxburgh & Co. are delighted to be working with them on this latest acquisition.”

Photograph available:

Contact John Shepherd,


m 07850 789631

Further information contact:

John Shepherd,


m. 07850 789631

Jonathan Sutton,

Roxburgh & Co, acting for Festival Hotels Ltd

t. 0131 624 3700

Note to Editors

Whiteburn is a well established, privately owned group of companies, specialising in property investment, development and project management across a range of sectors. Operating in eastern Scotland and southern England, the portfolio comprises commercial, retail, leisure and residential interests.

Last year Whiteburn sold a similar mixed-use building, the former Prudential Assurance Building in Albert Square, Dundee to a local investor, having overhauled the Alfred Waterhouse designed masterpiece, to create city centre flats, offices and a Pizza Express restaurant.

Last month Whiteburn’s flagship property, The Tun on Holyrood Road, housing BBC Scotland, the British Council, Scottish Enterprise, CRE and the European Parliament office, won both the Scottish regional and UK national awards for best Commercial Workplace at the prestigious British Council for Offices Awards 2003.

Current projects include the re-development of the distinctive Clocktower building, adjacent to The Tun, with Pizza Express again due to take up the cavernous ground and mezzanine floors, over looking a landscaped piazza early next year.