Who ‘Dun’ it?

House of Dun
House of Dun

The Cafe Dun and the Angus Loom Weavers, both based at the House of Dun in Montrose, shut their doors to the public for the final time on Sunday.

The two popular tourist attractions closed following a disagreement with the National Trust for Scotland.

A spokesperson for the National Trust for Scotland said: “The leases in question at the House of Dun had not been reviewed for a period of many years and did not address current legislative obligations.

“It was necessary to terminate the old leases and bring forward new ones which covered requirements related to Health and Safety, the law on smoking indoors in premises accessible to the public and, in the cafe’s case, food preparation.

“We also proposed a modest rent increase, although rental was still pegged well below current market values.”

The Review understands that it was claimed that both the owner of the cafe and the weaving looms operator, Mr Ian Dale, were given notices to quit by the NTS before being given any notification of the lease review.

It has also been claimed that the new contracts offered to the current tenants in the form of licences to occupy are in fact rolling contracts.

A spokesperson for the NTS added: “The tenants chose not to sign the new leases and elected to terminate their tenancies. We are sorry that they chose this course of action but it is entirely their prerogative. Commercial leases elsewhere will be broadly similar to those we offered, which in turn are no more onerous than those in force at other NTS properties.”

“It was an administrative requirement that the old lease was terminated in order to allow a new lease to be put in place. Therefore there was the formality of a ‘notice to quit’ but this was immediately followed by interim leases to enable continued tenancy while negotiations for the new lease were concluded.

“The new lease would have guaranteed the tenant long-term occupancy of the property but they chose not to sign this and elected to end their rental arrangement with the Trust.”