The MOD leases areas of St Kilda from the National Trust for Scotland and QinetiQ, in turn, operates and manages these areas on behalf of the MOD under a Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA). These areas create an extension to the QinetiQ operated MOD owned Air Range on the Hebrides and are essential for the delivery of vital test, evaluation and training to the UK armed forces.
The ‘Puff Inn’ is a canteen facility for use by QinetiQ and MOD staff and their contractors, and NTS sponsored staff only. It is not open to members of the public. The name ‘Puff Inn’ is a colloquial term for this facility which has been used, misleadingly, for a number of years. It never was, or will be, a licensed public house or ‘Inn’.
When QinetiQ took over the management of areas of St Kilda from the MOD, it was evident that, historically, members of the public had been allowed to use the canteen and toilet facilities. Members of the public are not allowed to use facilities at other QinetiQ operated MOD owned sites (or indeed any military establishment) and it was vital that procedures were tightened up to ensure the St Kilda site is managed in accordance with standard MOD practice. Therefore the public – day trippers, divers, yacht crews etc are not entitled to use QinetiQ managed facilities on St Kilda.
Naturally, in the case of an emergency, QinetiQ, the MOD and the NTS will work together to ensure that assistance is given to member(s) of the public. Medical facilities have been and still are available for treatment should a member of the public, for whatever reason, require vital medical attention.