A Scottish island community group’s bid to buy a 19th-century castle favoured by Prince Charles has been knocked back due to concerns over a lack of funding.

Scottish National Heritage (SNH) warned Kinloch Castle on Rum has “no future” unless 

However, the governing body for Scotland’s sites of historical significance has rejected a move by Kinloch Castle Friends Association (KCFA) to transform the A-listed building into a hotel and museum as they do not believe the group has the funds to maintain it.

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The Edwardian palace was built in the 1800’s by industrialist Geroge Bullough, but was sold to the government in the 1950’s after falling into a state of disrepair.

Prince Charles previously led attempts to restore the 118-year-old castle, which was once the pleasure palace of a couple whose affairs rocked Edwardian society - including one that involved a fling with the prince’s great, great grandfather Edward VII.

In 2008, he lobbied unsuccessfully for SNH to be allowed to give £2m towards renovating the castle.

KCFA lodged plans to turn the castle into a 51-room B&B and museum exploring its heritage in May under the provision it was transferred into community ownership.

But SNH have now knocked back those proposals, citing fears KCFA’s business case could fail.

The organisation acknowledged the work undertaken by the group, adding it would consider working with them in the future.

Nick Halfhide, SNH's director of sustainable growth, said: "Having carefully considered all the evidence presented, we concluded that the merits of the request fell short of the necessary requirements for a successful asset transfer application.

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"We ensured that the assessment process was not only thorough and fair, but also transparent and the full decision and papers will be made available on our website."

Known as The Forbidden Island because of its remoteness, Rum is a national nature reserve off the west coast and the largest of the Small Isles. It has a population of around 40 - most of whom work for SNH.

Ferries only run four times-a-week in winter, and in bad weather the island can be cut off for days on end.