Abandoned Airth Castle site subject to new police patrols over antisocial behaviour spike

Police have stepped up patrols at the Airth Castle and Hotel site after increased reports of break-ins, fire damage and vandalism.

The operating company behind the popular wedding venue went bust in March 2023 citing “unmanageable debts” accrued from the Covid pandemic and rising energy bills – leaving employees and guests seeking answers.

The move into liquidation left 26 full-time staff and a number of part-time employees without a job.

Airth Castle has been left disused since that announcement and in a statement published on social media earlier this week, Forth Valley cops confirmed that additional action had been taken over damage and anti-social behaviour.

Posting on social media, they said: “We want to keep you informed about recent developments regarding safety and security in our area.

“Due to reported crimes, including break-ins, fire raising, damage, and anti-social behaviour, our dedicated police officers have stepped up patrols around Airth Castle and Hotel.”

One of those incidents took place at the end of last month when multiple fire engines and police officers were called to attend a blaze in the main building of the castle.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 7.25pm on Thursday, May 30, to reports of fire within a three-storey derelict building near Airth Castle.

“Operations Control mobilised three fire engines and a height appliance to the scene and extinguished the fire. There were no casualties and crews left the scene after ensuring the area was safe.”

Alongside the enhanced patrols, officers urged the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity and confirmed a ‘zero tolerance’ approach with robust action for those caught carrying out anti-social behaviour at the castle.

One of the couples affected by the sudden closure was Stirling-based Natalie Dick and Marc Joseph, who were due to get hitched at Airth Castle last August.

Following the news, Marc said: “We needed to know what was happening so we drove over to ask. We met our wedding controller, and he did look visibly upset at the situation.

“I asked about getting our deposit back but he said I would need to wait until I was contacted by the liquidators.

“He told me they are hoping to offer their sister venue the Glenbervie Hotel as an alternative but we are really nervous to put our trust in them again.

“I asked to speak with one of the managers who I believe was upstairs but they didn’t appear.”

Natalie added: “We’re absolutely gutted. It is so much stress to try to find a new venue within five months. We don’t trust the company anymore.

“There is no other venue quite like it. We’re just devastated.”