Tayside and Central Scotland

Lincoln firm buys Cultybraggan nuclear bunker

Nuclear bunker
Image caption The complex at Cultybraggan was put on the market nine months ago

A bunker built to protect Scotland's leaders from nuclear threat is now set to become a digital safe house, it has been revealed.

The shelter at the former prisoner-of-war camp at Cultybraggan, near Comrie in Perthshire, will be used to store confidential computer files.

Lincoln-based communications firm GCI Com Group Ltd has had its bid accepted for the Cold War building.

The complex went on the market nine months ago.

GCI Com said the high-security data centre would provide its clients with a recovery service in the event of disaster.

The proposals have been described as a "game-changing prospect" for the Comrie Development Trust, who bought Cultybraggan from the Ministry of Defence through a right-to-buy option in September 2007.

'Exciting project'

Chairman Alan Caldwell said the deal, which will be a joint venture, would bring vital funds to the trust, as well as providing the rural community with high-speed broadband "equivalent to that of a major city".

It is hoped the leap forward in technology will boost local businesses that have been held back by poor internet coverage.

Mr Caldwell said: "The operation doesn't bring jobs with it as it's all technology-based, but we believe jobs will come to the area due to the broadband speed. There's 10 acres next to the bunker that is ideal for commercial enterprise.

"It's an exciting project and potentially a defining moment for the community plan for Cultybraggan Camp."

Decontamination showers

The development trust put the bunker on the market with a guide price of £400,000, attracting diverse interest including a South African couple who wanted to live there and an American firm who wanted to use it as a place to flee the apocalypse.

Wayne Martin, chairman of GCI Com, said: "This will bring Comrie and the camp into the national spotlight for a best-in-breed hosting and disaster recovery centre, along with the camp benefiting from access to high-speed data that's only really available in key cities within the UK."

The Cultybraggan Camp was set up in 1939 as a maximum security prison and housed up to 4,000 German and Italian POWs.

Last year Comrie Development Trust appointed property consultants to sell the former bunker on the site, which was designed to accommodate up to 150 key officials in the event of a nuclear attack.

The bunker was completed in 1990 at a cost of about £30m.

It contains a TV studio, canteen, phone exchange and dormitories, as well as decontamination showers, a PA system and a radio mast.

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