Mystery over Biggar hotel’s wage delays

Shieldhill Castle Hotel in Biggar portrays itself as an upmarket conference centre and an exclusive wedding venue.
Shieldhill Castle Hotel in Biggar portrays itself as an upmarket conference centre and an exclusive wedding venue.

The mystery is deepening over a luxury wedding venue’s financial woes, with staff claiming they are now owed up to eight weeks’ wages.

Shieldhill Castle Hotel in Biggar portrays itself as an upmarket conference centre and an exclusive wedding venue.

The hotel is no stranger to financial troubles having previously been the subject of a winding-up petition by HMRC in 2016 for not paying its tax bill.

The Gazette has learned that as many as 13 staff have not been paid, some have since resigned, and others refuse to work until they are paid, forcing the hotel to cancel bookings in the run up to Christmas.

Many of the online booking sites are showing that there is no accommodation availability, or, are not accepting bookings for the hotel.

An inside source at the hotel told the Gazette that a crisis meeting took place on Wednesday, December 5 to discuss the ongoing problem, including the possibility of having to cancel pre-booked weddings and other special events.

Jordan Doyle, a waitress, is owed £673 in wages but has never been paid. She said: “We’ve been treated disgustingly, and so close to Christmas too. Imagine a parent relying on money to buy presents for kids. Mary Yuill should hang her head in shame.”

The Gazette’s investigations have revealed that on July 17 this year, Mary Sweeney Yuill, a director of Sweeney Hotels Ltd who trade as Shieldhill Castle was sequestrated at Lanark Sheriff Court on a creditors petition.

We called the hotel to obtain clarification of the position, and the rumours suggesting it is about to close, but were told by a member of staff she could not comment.

At the time of going to press Mary Yuill had failed to provide any responses to the questions we posed about the hotel’s future.