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Business / Ferncliff attracts huge interest as ‘Shetland is the place to be’

THE OWNER of a house for sale on the island of Yell has been inundated with calls and messages from across the world after an online posting of Ferncliff went viral over the weekend – partly thanks to comparisons to the iconic home in comedy series Father Ted.

The property for sale advert on the Shetland News website has so far gathered over 91,000 page views and has had a combined reach of more of than two million on estate agent AndersonStrathern and Shetland News’ Facebook pages.

The hugely popular sitcom Father Ted was broadcast in the 1990s and features three priests living on a remote island on the west coast of Ireland.

Ferncliff owner Andy Ross said when Father Ted had first been on television more than two decades ago that connection to his house had often been made.

He said he was not that surprised by the huge interest – not so much because of the perceived Father Ted link, but more because “Shetland is the place to be”.

Ross, originally from London, said none of his friends could comprehend why he moved to Shetland in the early 2000s after having bought the almost 200-year-old property, which overlooks the Gutcher ferry terminal.

“At the time that I moved Shetland was almost beyond the pale, no one south could believe that we were actually moving here, they thought ‘why on earth are you moving to the end of world?’” he said.

“And nowadays people want to move out of the cities and have that country lifestyle. Times have definitely changed.”

He added that people have always said Ferncliff was a “beautiful house” in an “incredible location with a beautiful view”.

“It just perfectly fits where it sits,” he said, “so I am not surprised by the interest – I am surprised by the reach of the interest.

“Yesterday, I had a virtual viewing with someone from Canada, and we had inquiries from people from all over the world, people who are all desperate to come to Shetland.”

Ross added that he and his partner have been working on doing up an old gospel hall in New Zealand for a number of years now, and although he will continue to be involved in the Global Yell charity and the Shetland Tweed company, it is not possible to keep a house in Shetland once the move to down under is completed.

Ferncliff is being sold by estate agent AndersonStrathern. Offers over £95,000 are welcome and the closing date is Monday 13 September.

Partner in the solicitors firm Neil Risk said he was staggered by the interest, “but staggered in a good way”.

“In my 27 years in private practice I have never come across this kind of response to a property going on the market,” Risk said.

“It is a sign of the times. People are looking for property a bit out of the way, or a lot of of the way because they are more concerned about their health and their lifestyle

“At the moment houses going on the market are almost selling instantly. There is a huge amount of interest in places like Shetland.”

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