A HISTORIC house in danger of being lost to the nation has been mooted as Scotland’s first “parador”.

As revealed by the Sunday National, Spain’s paradores, the state-run chain of high-end but reasonably priced hotels, are being looked at as a way of boosting the Scottish economy.

The parador plan is expected to be debated at the SNP conference this month as part of a wider £12 billion strategy to boost the rural economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supporters of the move say the construction and hospitality aspect of the concept would create hundreds of jobs and preserve important properties currently at risk.

The move comes amid concern over the National Trust for Scotland which is forecasting a £20 million deficit this year and has come under fire over plans to axe 400 jobs.

Now leading architect Alan Dunlop has suggested Mavisbank House in Midlothian could be the first of Scotland’s paradores.

“It is genuinely Scotland’s finest Palladian Villa,” he said.

“Now in a ruined state, it sits in its own grounds and would make a perfect luxury hotel and the country’s first parador.”

Sauchie Tower in Clackmannanshire, Castle Tioram on Loch Moidart, Fairburn Tower near Muir of Ord, Earlston Castle in Dalry, Collairnie Castle in Fife and Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire are other possibilities according to Dunlop, founding director of Perthshire-based Alan Dunlop Architect Limited.

However he is doubtful whether the Scottish equivalent of the paradores could go ahead without private investment.

“The list I’ve given are the most ‘complete’ castles and tower houses of our historic structures and the most famous are more likely to attract private investment,” said Dunlop.

He added that it wasn’t just old buildings that could be saved by a parador plan as modernist designs such as the Bernat Klein Studio in the Scottish Borders could also be used.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said of the proposal: “The report and recommendations of the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce identify that the sector’s recovery is likely to require a new, innovative public private partnership to deliver the investment that is required.

“And that there is a variety of ways in which these might be structured.”