THE COMMUNITY on the remote Shetland island group of Out Skerries hopes an investor can be attracted after one of its uninhabited islands has been put on the market for an asking price of more than £85,000.
At 55 acres in size, Grunay boasts two dilapidated former lighthouse keepers' houses, a walled garden and a sundial, and has neither electricity nor a water supply.
Chair of the Skerries Development Group, Alice Arthur, said things had gone from "bad to worse" on the islands following last year's decision to close its secondary school and the recent job losses at the local salmon farm.
"It is exciting to think that somebody will buy Grunay and actually do something with it.
"Somebody special has to buy it. The last thing we want is another absentee owner," she said
The development group itself has no plans for a community buyout, she added, mainly because they were kept busy helping the 70 strong community survive as it is.
"At one point the current owner did say that she was interested in a community buyout and we did look at it, but felt that we couldn't do it because we were overwhelmed with more urgent tasks such as fighting for the school and fighting for our ferry service.
"We are really at rock bottom at the moment. We are hoping for somebody to buy the island and do something with it. That would be a sign of life for the rest of us. We would support any buyer in any way we could," she said.
Grunay is located to the east of Skerries and as such is the most easterly part of Scotland and the UK.
More details about this "rare opportunity to acquire a beautiful Scottish island" can be found at the agents' website at http://www.knightfrank.co.uk (Type Grunay into the search engine)