A CASTLE on a Scottish island is in the process of being handed over to a charitable trust after years of uncertainty over its future.

Kinloch Castle on Rum, an “ostentatious” 19th century shooting lodge with an untouched Edwardian interior, was used as a youth hostel until 2015.

NatureScot has owned the building on the island in the Inner Hebrides, since 1957 and is currently in the process of handing it over to a charitable trust, the Kinloch Castle Friends Association (KCFA), which has been hoping to restore it for 26 years.

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.

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As part of ongoing negotiations, NatureScot is ensuring that an irrevocable pledge is made in favour of the Trust (when and if established) by Jeremy Hosking, a British businessman.

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.”

MSP Kate Forbes 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.

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“For us this marks the culmination of 26 years of hard work.

“We thank the good offices of Kate Forbes MSP who has provided timely support, Councillor Angus Macdonald who has been tireless in his seeking for a strong future for the castle and Hugh Garratt, heritage surveyor, who has imbued our team with the confidence that the castle is worthy of saving and still sturdy enough to be saved.”

MacDonald said: “This sale will secure the renovation of an important 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.”