Colonsay is one of the Southern Hebridean islands and a wee gem too. You can reach this wee gem from Oban by Calmac ferry in a little over two hours, or you can fly in. The island has some amazing beaches and especially Kiloran Bay is one of the most beautiful bays in the west of Scotland. With only 120 inhabitants the island is sparsely populated and most houses are found on the east coast in Scalasaig where you’ll also find the ferry terminal. Only a few hundred meters from the ferry terminal opposite the local church, is the Colonsay Hotel and pub. The current owner, the laird of Colonsay, has put the hotel and pub up for sale recently for £545,000. The reason for the sale seems to be the economic crisis we are in. Selling Colonsay’s only hotel is of course bad news for the island and it’s fragile tourism-based economy. Now, new owners have to be found to run the hotel, or perhaps a community buy-out could be the solution to save the hotel.
David Johnston, chairman of the island steering group, said in an interview: “We have formed a committee under the auspices of the island development company to look at the possibility of putting together a bid. It’s at a very early stage at the moment – we are just looking at the possibility. We obviously would like to get the hotel into community control if that is the best way of achieving what the island needs.” The laird was not available for comment, but his wife Jane said: “We have built it up to a really good, healthy business. It’s a real opportunity for a couple to take over, but we are happy to sell it to the community if they are interested. We are completely supportive of the community putting in an offer.”