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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Trump tees up golf centre project
Donald Trump
Mr Trump said Scotland was perfect for the project
The US billionaire Donald Trump has announced plans to build a new world class golfing centre in Aberdeenshire.

The development could bring 150m to the local economy over the next decade, creating 400 jobs.

The complex is planned for the Menie Estate, close to the North Sea coast between Balmedie and Ellon.

First Minister Jack McConnell welcomed the move, but Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) stressed the local countryside would have to be protected.

Mr Trump's company scoured Europe looking for a suitable venue for the golf courses.

I have never seen such an unspoilt and dramatic sea side landscape and the location makes it perfect for our development
Donald Trump

The centre will include two championship courses, a hotel and a holiday home complex.

Mr Trump, speaking on his website, said: "I have been actively looking for links land in Europe for the past few years.

"Of course my preference was Scotland over any other country because I am half Scottish - my mother, Mary MacLeod, is from Stornoway.

'Unique development'

"When I saw this piece of land I was overwhelmed by the imposing dunes and rugged Aberdeenshire coastline. I knew that this was the perfect site for Trump International, Scotland.

Sand dunes
The complex will cover a large area of sand dunes

"I have never seen such an unspoilt and dramatic sea side landscape and the location makes it perfect for our development.

"Our site is close to two of the world's most famous courses and is just 15 minutes by car from Aberdeen International Airport.

"As this unique and exciting development comes to fruition, golfing standards worldwide will be taken to new levels of excellence by the addition of Trump International Golf Links, Scotland."

The developers hope the planned course will one day host the sport's biggest competitions, including the Open.

His proposals recognise that Scotland is indeed the home of golf
Jack McConnell
First Minister

Hailing the news, the first minister said: "When I met Mr Trump last October I was impressed by his enthusiasm for Scotland - so I am not surprised he is keen to invest here.

"I know he is very excited about this project.

"His proposals recognise that Scotland is indeed the home of golf.

"We offer the most special golf experience in the world, with some of the world's best courses."

Ian Dunlop, area director for Visit Scotland, said: "This is an unbelievable tourism opportunity for the region and, with Royal Deeside and castle and whisky trails on the doorstep, the overall visitor package will be tremendous.

'Real sensitivities'

"We will have a really enviable tourism proposition."

However SNH Grampian area manager Ron MacDonald said there would have to be consideration given to the local countryside.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "There are real sensitivities in the area.

"We are looking forward to meeting the developers to discuss exactly what it entails.

"The development has to go through the planning process and we will input to that.

"We are approaching it in a co-operative manner, it has huge potential for the area and we recognise that, but we must protect the heritage."

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