Trade returns to former tourist information office

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People are once again going through the doors of Campbeltown’s MacKinnon House – but this time into a café instead of the tourist information office.

The iconic building has lain empty since VisitScotland closed its iCentre in 2018. The controversial decision to close 39 iCentres across Scotland, including those in Tarbert and Inveraray, followed a recorded drop in footfall.

Argyll and Bute Council released particulars in January 2019 inviting offers from those interested in letting the property, which sits at the head of the Old Quay, with a closing date of March 1.

The successful applicants were Caroline Colville and Mairi MacBrayne, who have since transformed the building into a café, named Tea on the Quay, which opened last Friday. Among the treats available at the café are breakfasts, homemade soup, paninis, baked potatoes and homebaking.

Caroline and Mairi previously worked together in Campbeltown’s job centre, where Mairi continued to work until the café opened. Caroline returned to Campbeltown from Perth where she ran another café, so she has plenty of experience in the industry.

MacKinnon House was named in memory of Lachlan MacKinnon DSC, the first area tourist officer for Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Tourist Board, so it is fitting that tourists are once again able to enjoy it.