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Losses soar at Trump’s Scots golf clubs

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Image caption The Trump International course in Aberdeenshire was mired in controversy for years

Losses at Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses have doubled to £19m for 2016.

In annual accounts filed with Companies House, the Menie Estate development in Aberdeenshire lost £1.4m, while Turnberry in Ayrshire lost £17.6m.

US President Trump handed control of the courses to his sons Donald Junior and Eric shortly before he took office, but he retains a financial interest.

His company said the losses at Turnberry were in part due to its six-month closure for renovation work.

In addition to the Turnberry shutdown, the company also noted in its report that it took an £8m loss due to fluctuations in the value of the pound last year.

Expressing confidence

The company reported that revenue at the two courses fell 21% to £9m in 2016 from £11.4m a year earlier.

Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organisation, declined to comment about the results, which showed a doubling of losses from the previous year.

In the financial report, Eric Trump included a letter expressing confidence that the resorts would attract plenty of golfers.

Image caption The company blamed losses at Turnberry on an extended period of renovation

He said Turnberry had received “excellent reviews” from its guests, and that the reopening of the resort was ushering in an “exciting new era” for the company.

However, Trump’s developments have faced setbacks since the firm ventured into Scotland 12 years ago.

Some residents living near its planned second resort on the North Sea claimed to have been the victim of “bullying tactics” to make way for more development.

Scottish mother

The company also lost a court fight to stop an offshore wind farm near the resort.

They also drew objections from environmental regulators over building plans and face doubts over a bid to host the Scottish Open.

However, other locals have praised the course for bringing in tourists and boosting the local economy.

Donald Trump, who was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America in January, has a strong connection with Scotland.

His mother, Mary MacLeod, was born on the Isle of Lewis in 1912, to Malcolm MacLeod, a fisherman, and his wife, also called Mary.

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