Cold war bunker bought by BBC chief scientist

The Nuclear bunker at Cultybraggan, Perthshire. Picture: Hemedia
The Nuclear bunker at Cultybraggan, Perthshire. Picture: Hemedia
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A MULTI-million pound Cold War bunker built as a bolt-hole for Scottish ministers in the event of a nuclear strike has been bought by one of the UK’s most influential technology experts.

Chief scientist for the BBC, Brandon Butterworth, has bought the nuclear fall-out shelter at Cultybraggan Camp near Comrie, Perthshire, for as little as £150,000, at auction.

The bunker, completed in 1990, just as the Cold War was ending, cost more than £30m to build and comes equipped with a staggering list of facilities, including a television studio.

It also features a canteen, telephone exchange and dormitories, decontamination showers, a PA system and radio mast. It is also served by an impressive array of life-support systems, from air filtration plants and back-up generators to water storage tanks.

The 26,000 sq ft, 50-roomed facility is thought to be the last of its kind built in Britain, and would have been the national centre of command for Scotland in the event of a nuclear attack.

Comrie Development Trust confirmed today they have finalised a deal with Bog ons Ltd, the firm co-owned by Butterworth.

Butterworth said: “We are pleased to have bought the bunker.

“I’ve had an initial look at what needs to be done to make it fit for business and now we will commence the work to bring it online.

“As well as an ideal location for long-term data and media storage projects we’ve been working on a for a while, we’re also hoping that we can work with local businesses and communities to provide them with tailored internet hosting and connectivity services to meet their needs.”

Butterworth showed off his new purchase on his Twitter page.

And his business partner Simon Lockhart said locals may finally get the chance to see inside the bunker.

He added: “We will be working closely with Comrie Development Trust to see where we can get involved with the events they run at Cultybraggan.

“We are also hoping to be able to offer the opportunity for people to tour the bunker before we commence the work to fit out the bunker for our data storage and data centre use.”

In early 2012 it was suggested that the bunker could become home to Scotland’s first high-security data centre, only for the sale to fall through.

Previous owners the Comrie Development Trust acquired the bunker with the rest of Cultybraggan Camp - which once housed Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess - as part of a community land buyout from the Ministry of Defence.

The Trust continued to market the property at an asking price which was a fraction of its build cost.

A spokesperson from the Comrie Development Trust Board said today the money will be put towards paying off loans taken out to purchase the former prisoner of war camp in 2007.