Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has welcomed the news that further talks will take place regarding the impending sale of Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum.
The MSP has been advised by the Minister, Lorna Slater, that the Scottish Land Commission has written to all three parties involved with further advice on next steps and ensuring a fair and responsible approach to the proposed sale.
The Minister is also to meet with the Isle of Rum Community Trust next week to hear their concerns first hand.
Earlier this year, Mrs Grant had been approached about the impending sale of the Castle which was reported to be due to conclude on Monday, 31 October.
The MSP, having previously tabled a Parliamentary Question on the matter, was then contacted by the Isle of Rum Community Trust and advised of their concerns which included access in front of the Castle and power system ownership/control.
Mrs Grant wrote to the Minister and to the Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, earlier this week asking for the sale to be paused until the concerns of the community could be heard and addressed.
She has now been informed by the Minister that, despite reports in the media, 31 October is not a fixed deadline and more discussions will take place with all parties involved – NatureScot, the Community Trust and the proposed buyer – to discuss next steps.
Rhoda Grant said:
“I am delighted to hear that all is not lost in terms of the sale which, as it stands, would be in contrast to the Government’s own land reform agenda.
“The Community has very real concerns about the current proposals and the Minister has assured me that she does understand these concerns and that securing a sustainable future for Kinloch Castle will require community interests to be fully recognised in any agreement with the prospective buyer.”
Mrs Grant concluded:
“It is fantastic news that the community’s voice will now be heard and they will get the chance to discuss their concerns directly with the Minister and with the prospective buyer.
“It is right that the community is given this opportunity and I look forward to hearing more on this as talks progress.”