Wealthy individuals with “an interest in Rum, Kinloch Castle and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland” are being sought by a group trying to save the castle.
A business plan drawn up by Kinloch Castle Friends Association (KCFA) is seeking to re-open visitor accommodation at the castle, which is located on the Isle of Rum. The plan highlights the need for wealthy individuals, or “an interested hotel operator”, to fund the plans.
“If secured, significant private investment, working in conjunction with KCFA, would provide the opportunity for Kinloch Castle to be redeveloped as proposed, with Phase 1 delivering hostel accommodation initially, and Phases 2 and 3 resulting in high quality hotel rooms and external facilities,” the business plan, which was published over the summer, says. “This would in turn provide a social and economic impact locally (Phase 1) and for the wider benefit of Lochaber and the West Coast (Phase 2).”
Kinloch Castle is described by the group as a Category A listed sporting lodge with formal gardens. It contains an important collection built up mainly by Sir George Bullough, a wealthy industrialist.
The plan states that ownership of the castle “transferred to Nature Conservancy in 1957 and is now owned by the successor organisation Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). It was placed on the buildings at risk register in 2004”.
KCFA is now looking to take over the property, which it says has fallen into disrepair.
“SNH is the current owner of the Castle, although this asset no longer sits comfortably within their portfolio,” KCFA said. “SNH has spent time and money to keep up with repairs to the Castle, however due to problems such as water ingress, defective chimneys, flat roofs and dry rot it may require significant sums of money to stabilise.
"SNH does not have the resources to fund these capital works, or to maintain the collection and has therefore stepped up efforts to find alternative options for ownership of the Castle and is supportive of the potential asset transfer. There is also a political will for an asset transfer to a suitably competent community organisation and public sector support has been offered in principle to enable this to happen. SNH is currently working in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to this end.”