How KCFA was formed
Kinloch Castle Friends Association was first established as a membership organisation on 26 July 1996 at Kinloch Castle on Rum in Scotland. The founders were Dr. Ewan Macdonald, the original and current Chairman, and George Randall, for many years the Secretary. George moved from Cumbria to the United States of America in 2001 but is still an enthusiastic researcher concerning the Castle.
The island of Rum, including the Castle, is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). However, in 1996 it was obvious that SNH, despite every effort over the years on their part, did not possess the funding to maintain the 100 year old building which was not officially part of their mandate. George and Ewan decided that a “Friends” organisation, to work in partnership with SNH, could stimulate interest, help provide funding, and provide a valuable human resource for the future care of the Castle, contents and policies. They realised that the educational and research potential at the Castle was an important part of Scotland’s non-natural heritage and should be conserved for casual visitors and serious students alike. Thus the Kinloch Castle Friends Association was born.
The Association became registered as a Scottish Charity with the Number SC 030201 in 2000. Through hard work of members, the KCFA has grown into an important influence on the management of the Castle. The KCFA is regularly consulted on various matters appertaining the Castle. Since the setting up of the Isle of Rum Community Trust we have worked with the Rum Community and see the survival of the community as being linked to that of the castle. In 2017 Professor Macdonald was invited and agreed to become a member of the Trust.
The Savill’s report of 2016 made it clear that one way forward for the Castle was for the creation of a Community Interest Company or Building Preservation Trust. The KCFA AGM of 2017 unanimously agreed that the KCFA committee should investigate this and the committee are working with SNH with a view to the creation of a Community Interest Company with which to reopen the castle initially as a hostel with bar and bistro and then gradually to bring more rooms into use, and to generate more visitors and employment.