Hundreds of people from across the globe have applied to live on a remote Scottish island – with COVID-19 being mentioned as a factor in some applications.
The Isle of Rum, Inner Hebrides, put out a call for tenants to join the population of around just 30 people after building four new two-bedroom eco homes.
More than 3,000 applications came in from countries around the world – including Argentina, USA, Australia, Spain and Italy – as well as a number of bids made by Londoners looking to swap the city for island life.
The Isle of Rum Community Trust, which launched the search for new residents, hopes to raise the population of the island to 60 people with the new accommodation.
The greater resident numbers will support the island school, which has a roll of just two, as well as future investment and infrastructure projects.
Steve Robertson, development manager at the trust, said he was “very pleased” with the response and said the pandemic may have helped to drive the high level of interest.
He said: "Perhaps COVID-19 has helped and certainly it has been mentioned a few times.
“If there is further lockdown, you have all the space on the island, the beaches, the cliffs.
"There does seem to be something special about the idea of completely breaking from whatever life you have and moving to a small island.
"It can work really well for people.”
Robertson said consideration would particularly be given to small families and those who had a business they could take to Rum.
He said some applicants had shown interest in taking up one of the homes and building other properties on the island, to help drive further population growth.
All homes on the island are fitted with high quality fibre broadband, allowing people to work from home, with other jobs in childcare, food production and house maintenance.
Care will be taken to get the right fit of people for the island, where challenges include the lack of healthcare.
Robertson added: “We might not get it perfect but we will do our best to make it clear to newcomers as to what they might expect from moving to Rum.”