Macdonald Aviemore Resort

(Aviemore Centre)

A leisure complex located to the west of Aviemore in Strathspey, the Macdonald Aviemore Resort is the successor to the Aviemore Centre, built in 1966 and largely demolished thirty years later. The resort includes one of the hotels of the original and some other buildings which were refurbished at a cost of £35 million by the Tulloch group and its partners, the Bank of Scotland and Macdonald Hotels. The resort now comprises three hotels, woodland lodges, exhibition and conference facilities, a cinema, leisure centre, restaurants, a luxury shopping mall and the nearby Spey Valley Golf Course.

The Aviemore Centre was developed from 1964 by the Scottish Office to form a winter sports complex with top-class hotels. The project was overseen by Lord Fraser of Allander (1903-66) and senior civil servant George Pottinger (1916-98). They appointed Yorkshire-based John Poulson (1910-93), who ran a large international architectural practice based in Pontefract, to design the Centre. Opened by Lady Fraser of Allander in 1966, it included hotels, together with a cinema, craft centre, dry ski slope, ice rink, swimming pool and a theatre. Santa Claus Land opened next to the Centre in 1975. The architecture was utilitarian and proved controversial; the buildings were poorly constructed, soon looking dated and with the concrete failing. Poulson failed to pay his taxes and it became clear that he obtained contracts through bribery, and both he and Pottinger were eventually jailed.

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