The Hunter Foundation has acquired Blair Castle and its 220-acre estate to become a new headquarters and home to its leadership programmes.
The castle was acquired from previous owners Charles and Sallie Hendry for an undisclosed sum in February – however, real estate experts suggest the estate is valued at around £5.5m.
The 900 year-old building should let Sir Tom Hunter’s charitable foundation accelerate its work with entrepreneurial scale-ups, head teachers and public sector leadership.
The Hunter Foundation will deliver multiple residential programmes at the 19-bedroomed castle, including ScaleUpScotland, head teacher leadership academies, family and children’s services leadership, local authority collaboratives and a national leadership programme.
Hunter said: “We are delighted to become custodians of this incredible castle and to headquarter our foundation here in Ayrshire.
“In turn we are honoured to offer Blair as Columba 1400’s home in the central belt – complementing their home on Skye – where their values based leadership programmes are transforming lives.
“Owning Blair will enable us to scale our work in leadership across the system and support, in some small way, Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.”
Blair Castle’s walls are said to have been constructed by Norman Invaders. In 1165, King William I of Scotland conferred the Barony of Blair upon Jean Francois. His son, William, then changed the family name to Blair.
Bryce de Blair fought with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and his descendant, Sir David de Blair, was knighted by Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314.
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