THE commitment felt by the Johnston family towards the Auchrannie resort and the Isle of Arran was perfectly illustrated in an interview managing director Linda Johnston gave to The Herald in 2015. “I don’t think anybody in their right mind would start a business on Arran hoping to make a lot of money at it,” she said. “It is the sort of thing you do because you love the island. We love Auchrannie – we love being part of it and want it to work.”

Now the family have underlined that passion with perhaps the ultimate gesture. They have transfered their entire shareholding in Auchrannie to an Employee Ownership Trust, meaning it is now owned by its160 staff.

When you consider the millions invested by the Johnston family to turn Auchrannie into one of Scotland’s most popular destinations – the resort now boasts an average occupancy of higher than 90 per cent – it might seem a bold move.

Loading article content

But, having explored different exit scenarios, they came to the conclusion that the best way to preserve the ethos that has sustained Auchrannie is by handing control to people who are just as committed to its long-term prosperity as they are. It also ensures that the people of Arran can continue to use the resort’s ever-expanding range of facilities – which was one of the Johnstons founding principles when they acquired the hotel all those years ago.