From proposed asset transfer to ownership
Following the agreement reached at the AGM of 2017, a working group of the KCFA was set up to explore the possibility of creation of a Community Interest Company or similar through which to take over the running of Kinloch Castle from SNH. On the 16th March 2018, the working group took the unanimous decision to apply formally for asset transfer of the castle and policies and negotiate the transfer of the contents of the castle to a community interest company formed by KCFA. After much hard work and advice we submitted our business plan and heard finally in October 2019 that we had failed – in the main because the money we had asked for was just not available.
Undeterred we asked SNH (since renamed NatureScot) what their next idea was for the future of the Castle and they suggested they were looking for a ‘beneficial owner’ and that KCFA could be that body.
We have accordingly set out to try to achieve this.
As the castle is currently uninhabited, our aim is to make the building wind and watertight, to renew and replace the services many of which (such as the lead pipework) are original, and to create good quality visitor accommodation initially in the former hostel area and later in the ‘museum’ area. We will also create new accommodation for the castle manager, and aim to utilise the steading/byre building. Income generated once Phase 1 is operational can then help to support the castle while funding is sought to further the restoration plans for Phase 2.
We are looking to creating good quality accommodation to supplement that already provided by the bunkhouse, but with room sizes allowing much greater flexibility this will encourage the older people in walking and other interest groups. We are also looking to encourage the university groups which used to use Rum regularly to be able to return and provide them with much needed study space.
We are also working to upgrade the power supply system on the island as that currently in use needs new batteries etc but we are advised that the system is still usable for the foreseeable future. We also have plans to ensure that power use is environmentally sound and the castle will be brought up to as high an efficiency standard as can be achieved.
We hope to submit our latest business plan shortly (June 2021). Please support us as we near the finish line of the ‘end of the beginning’. If you can help in any way, please get in touch.