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Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has decided against allowing a community group to take over responsibility for the 19th century Kinloch Castle on Rum.
Kinloch Castle Friends Association (KCFA) had lodged an asset transfer request to allow it to develop part of the castle into accommodation and restore the bistro and bar back into use as a way of generating income to further restoration plans.
But SNH said the KCFA bid fell short of the necessary requirements for the bid to have been successful with concerns adequate funding had not been identified and that KCFA’s business case had a ‘high level of risk’ of failing.
Nick Halfhide, SNH’s Director of Sustainable Growth, said: ‘Having carefully considered all the evidence presented, we concluded that the merits of the request fell short of the necessary requirements for a successful asset transfer application.
‘We ensured that the assessment process was not only thorough and fair, but also transparent and the full decision and papers will be made available on our website.
‘The benefits of any asset transfer application are considered against the criteria set out in the National Outcomes, Best Value themes and guidance. Consideration is given to a range of outcomes, including tackling inequalities, supporting strong and resilient communities, and demonstrating value to the relevant authority in existing use, and also the value for proposed and other community purposes.
‘KCFA carries out a range of important work and we fully understand that they will be disappointed by this decision. We hope that it does not discourage them from engaging with SNH and partner organisations which are looking to secure the best interests for the castle.’
Kinloch Castle on Rum.