I was more than disappointed to hear last week the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary at Barcaldine is to close unless a new owner can be found.
It is disheartening news on a number of levels, but principally for the people who work there.
The staff – we are told there are 11 of them – now face an uncertain time given that the current owner, Merlin Entertainment, plans to shut the attraction on October 31.
In fairness to Merlin, the company has said it will attempt to find other roles for the workers within its business. However, as the next nearest Sealife Sanctuary is at Loch Lomond Shores at Balloch, it is difficult to see how the staff could move there or elsewhere without the need to relocate lock, stock and barrel.
Then there is the blow this decision delivers to the local tourism economy. The Scottish Sealife Sanctuary is part of the overall mix of attractions that brings people to our area and will be a loss to the ‘product’.
Any diminution to what we have to offer is bad for us all. Let us hope fervently a new buyer can be found and that the amenity can be kept going, in whatever form that might be.