Businessman who helped transform Gretna Green into UK wedding capital dies

  • Video report by Kate Walby

A well-known businessman who helped transform Gretna Green into the UK's wedding capital has died.

Alasdair Houston, who collected an MBE in 2011 for his services to tourism, died on Monday, June 21, aged 59 after a long illness with cancer.

In a tribute posted on Gretna House Farms's Facebook page, Mr Houston was described as much loved by family, friends, colleagues and the farming community.

The statement said: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Alasdair Houston, MBE, DL, FRAgS, of Gretna Green on 21st June 2021 in the Alexandra Unit, Dumfries at the age of 59 following a long illness with cancer.

"Loving family man, farmer, pedigree cattle breeder, chairman of Gretna Green Ltd and entrepreneur."

Mr Houston ran Gretna Green Ltd, a hotel, wedding and tourism business. 

This year he was awarded the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland Sir William Young Award for his exceptional contribution to the world of cattle breeding.  

Mr Houston leaves a wife and two children.