Kintyre link to a mega £15bn oil firm

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By Mark Davey

A businessman whose oil trading firm has been valued at more than £15billion likes nothing better than relaxing at his Kintyre holiday home.

Vitol chairman and group chief executive Ian Taylor has built the private oil trader, headquartered in Holland, into a business, analysts recently valued at  more than the market capitalisation of Marks and Spencer and J Sainsbury combined.

A company spokesperson told the Courier: ‘Vitol’s turnover in 2016 was £152 billion.

‘The company trades at least seven million barrels of oil a day – more than 4.5 times what the UK consumes.’

In his time off Mr Taylor and his family fly to Machrihanish for breaks at his home which has uninterrupted views of Gigha, Islay and Jura.

Mr Taylor said: ‘My father was from Ayrshire and I’ve always felt at home here.

‘The spectacular, wild beaches and huge horizons make it the ideal place to refocus and put things into perspective.’

If he fancies a round of golf, in addition to the well know clubs, he has his own nine hole course in the grounds.

As well as a stretch of coastline the house boasts a specially constructed fishing loch.

Mr Taylor, who is proud of his Scottish roots, has always supported the local community and was one of the backers behind Glenbarr stores, garden centre and café when it reopened in 2016.

Over the years many wealthy people have chosen Scotland and in particular Kintyre, as a retreat from the stresses of life in Britain and the world’s cities.

Just before the Beatles began to implode in 1967, Paul McCartney bought High Park and spent increasing amounts of time at his remote retreat. All a decade before the eponymous hit Mull of Kintyre was penned.

McCartney was preceeded by another creative, prolific writer the late Naomi Mitchison CBE. She turned out more than 90 books, on may genres and subjects, in a literary career spanning the years 1923 to 1985.

Mrs Mitchison, came from the Scottish aristocratic Haldane family and with her husband Dick bought Carradale House in 1939. He was a prominent, Eton educated, Labour party member and MP for Kettering between 1945 and 1964.

After his retirement he was created  a life peer as Baron Mitchison of Carradale in the County of Argyll for his political work.

While her husband worked in London during the Second World War as a barrister Mrs Mitchison remained in Kintyre.

Mrs Mitchison continued to write prolifically, including a diary which was published, in the 1980s by the archive where it is held, as Among You Taking Notes.