Millionaire builds chapel on his new Scottish island

A millionaire hedge fund manager has built a chapel on his new island off the north west coast of Scotland.

Tanera Mòr in the Summer Isles. PIC: Getty Images.
Tanera Mòr in the Summer Isles. PIC: Getty Images.

Ian Wace bought Tanera Mòr in the Summer Isles, just off the coast at Achiltibuie, in May 2017 with details of his vision for a “world class” destination since emerging.

A chapel is amongst the development projects along with the restoration of the decaying herring station, which will include sculptured steel elements to recreate the original scale and silhouette of the building.

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An application for a bunkhouse on the island is now in the hands of planners at Highland Council with existing cottages being rebuilt. It is expected Tanera Mòr will have capacity for 60 guests when the redevelopment is complete.

Tanera Mòr in the Summer Isles is being redeveloped by millionaire Ian Wace. PIC: CC/Gordon Hatton.

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A spokesman for Mr Wace, who is married to model Saffron Aldridge and bought Tanera Mòr for just under £1.7m, confirmed a chapel had been built.

It will be used for ceremonies on the island and sits on Cnoc Ghlas.

A spokesman for Mr Wace said: “Tanera has always been a place of great affection for the local community , and the graveyard is the final resting place of many generations from that community.

"Building a chapel overlooking the graveyard and the old herring station ruins allows for Tanera to be a place of reflection and spirituality which fits well with the ethos of community. It is non-denominational and not consecrated.”

Mr Wace is using a team of architects from Belgium to restore the herring station. Steel box structures will be used to replicate the outline of the original buildings, which included a smokehouse and warehouse.

A design statement said the restoration would include an “artistic explanation of the history of the site and the role of the curing of herring which were then used in the wider British Empire and link this to the past of the slave trade".

Scottish fishing towns and villages boomed from the sale of cheap salted herring to slave plantations, with almost two thirds of exports in the late 18th Century bound for the West Indies.

Mr Wace, who has a reported net worth of £505m, is overseeing the four-year development programme.

Three individual communities established are set to be rebuilt at Ardnagoine, Tigh-an-Quay and Garadheancal so different groups of guests can occupy the island at a time or one large party can take over the entire place.

Visitors will still be welcomed on the island but it is understood services for those dropping in will be restricted to the north end at Ardnagoine "with the aim that the other areas of the island will be more private."

A notice on the Tanera Mòr website said the island was undergoing a “substantial construction project” to restore the cottages and upgrade the infrastructure.

It said the island was already hosting guests for “rest and recouperation” with visitors urged to “respect their privacy”.

The notice added: "If you are exploring the Summer Isles by sea, we ask that you respect both the potential danger of the construction site, and also the privacy of our guests, and please do not land on Tanera's inhabited east bay.

“You are of course welcome to land elsewhere on the Island.”

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