A CAIRNEYHILL hotel and bar is set for new owners after the current landlord announced plans to retire.

Martin Ferguson has been at the helm at the Maltings Hotel for the past two decades – despite initial plans to stay for just five years.

He took over the business in October 2000 when he came to Scotland from County Antrim in Northern Ireland and is now making arrangements to put the premises – which includes 11 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar – on the market.

"I owned a garage in Ireland before I came here. I took a chance. This was the first place I bought but I have bought quite a few others since," he told the Press.

"We came here in October 2000 and intended to stay five years and we are still here. We are only trading half the business at the moment.

"It is time to move on and retire now. We are getting into our late-50s now and it is time to go. I said I would leave when I was 50 and I am still here!

"Everything has changed over the time but we still have a lot of good customers. For the new owner, it is an opportunity for them to exploit the food and the function room."

Martin, who runs the hotel with partner Liz, is planning to retire to the north of Scotland once the business is sold.