Wealthy American donors set to back bid for Ailsa Craig

The iconic landmark of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde
The iconic landmark of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde

Wealthy American donors are preparing to help the National Trust of Scotland buy the iconic island of Ailsa Craig.

The Boston based National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA is keen for the trust to add the island to its portfolio.

James Hare, the executive director of the Foundation in USA said: “A donor realised the island is up for sale and believes it would make sense for the NTS to acquire it.

“There is a small group of our donors who are involved. There are serious negotiations taking place.

“Ailsa Craig is a world-famous island and it overlooks the jewel in the crown of the trust’s portfolio, Culzean Castle.”

The National Trust of Scotland confirmed there was an appetite for a US donor to purchase Ailsa Craig but stressed no decision had been taken.

A NTS spokesperson said: “It’s true that there does seem to be some appetite from a US donor that the Trust consider taking on Ailsa Craig.

“We have a rigorous process to go through before committing in any way.

“We are currently evaluating Ailsa Craig, but must emphasise that no decision has been taken.”

The island is owned by the Marquess of Ailsa who put the island on the market three years ago for £2.5m. The price was reduced to £1.5m in 2013 and rumours were rife that it had been sold to a charity with a special interest in birds in December but this wasn’t confirmed.

The island also provides most of the granite used in curling stones wherever the roaring game is played..