A SCOTS castle may be under new ownership soon as NatureScot has announced today that they are in talks with an interested party.
NatureScot – Scotland’s nature agency – have said that they are in advanced discussions with businessman Jeremy Hosking for Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum, having owned the castle since 1957.
Subject to requisite approvals being obtained, the Castle would be placed into a charitable trust, the aims of which are to conserve the building and its contents and on completion, to provide managed public access into the future.
Robbie Kernahan, NatureScot’s Director of Green Economy, said: “Kinloch Castle is a fantastic asset, but it isn’t a good fit for NatureScot with our strong focus on protecting and restoring Scotland’s nature.
“So we’re delighted that a new sustainable future for Kinloch Castle has been found and that the castle will continue to play an integral role for the community on Rum.”
Kate Forbes MSP said: “Kinloch Castle is an exceptional building and so I am pleased a new owner has eventually been found, who will hopefully invest significantly and engage with the local community to ensure the Isle of Rum has a thriving future.”
Professor Ewan MacDonald of the Kinloch Castle Friends Association said: “The whole team at KCFA are delighted to welcome the forthcoming sale of Kinloch Castle to a Trust set up for the purpose.
“For us this marks the culmination of 26 years of hard work fighting for the restoration of this special building.”
Cllr Angus MacDonald said: “This sale will secure the renovation of an important Category-A building.
“This is great news for the island, its shop, café, and other businesses.
“It brings job opportunities for willing islanders and a boost to the population of the island.”
NatureScot acquired Kinloch Castle in 1957 when the Nature Conservancy Council purchased the Island of Rum as a National Nature Reserve from its original owners – the Bullough family.
Previously, the castle was used as a hotel, bar/bistro and hostel and continues to be a visitor attraction. The hostel closed in 2015 and since then NatureScot has had no operational need for the building.
It is of national significance as a unique example of a 19th century shooting lodge with its ostentatious exterior matched only by its remarkable interior; it retains all its lavish Edwardian fittings and contents.
NatureScot has been implementing a conservation plan to maintain and protect the castle, in agreement with Historic Environment Scotland and Highland Council.
The sale is being negotiated by Savills on behalf of NatureScot.