Businessman offers ‘olive branch’ in hotel name row

Tomatin Distillery challenged the choice of 'Tomatin Trading Company' as the brand name for a £12m hotel and retail development.

Tomatin: Businessman offers 'olive branch'.
Tomatin: Businessman offers 'olive branch'.

A businessman has offered an “olive branch” in a bid to resolve a legal row over a company name.

Japanese-owned Tomatin Distillery challenged the choice of “Tomatin Trading Company” as the brand name for a £12m hotel and retail development proposed for the outskirts of the village, beside the A9 south of Inverness.

A Court of Session judge has referred the case to the Intellectual Property Office, which polices tradenames.

The distillery has not yet responded to the invitation to fresh talks.

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Tomatin Trading Company managing director, William Frame, told STV News: “We’d very much like to sit down with Tomatin Distillery and their management team in order to sort this little dispute out.

“It’s wholly unnecessary – we’re neighbours. We should be getting on with each other and we should be supporting each other’s businesses.”

The company has promised 70 post-construction jobs but its ambitions have been delayed by the legal row.

The neighbouring century-old distillery has previously stated that it “welcomes any development that is going to benefit the area”.

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But its managing director Stephen Bremner has objected to branding which, he says, “takes unfair advantage of our reputation”.

The project has Highland Council planning approval.

However, the 100-bed hotel, 200-seat cafe and shops project could remain on the drawing board if the argument is not settled.

The case has been “sisted” by Scotland’s Supreme Court, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, so there is no decision or judgment so far.

The Tomatin site, which previously housed a hotel and a cafe, has been derelict for a decade.


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