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Community share issue raises over £92,000 to rescue Isle of Bute pub

Villagers in Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute have raised £92,385 via a share offer to raise funds to buy – and re-open – their 200 year old pub, The Anchor Tavern.

Their “Community Share Offer” was set up to get the pub back open, after it closed its doors following the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the last month, villagers – as well as those living further afield – have been buying shares in the pub. The Anchor Tavern has served the coastal village of Port Bannatyne, on the Isle of Bute, for two centuries and is a lively hub of community and activity.

In response to its threatened sale, the newly formed Port Bannatyne Development Trust, a small group of residents and homeowners, successfully lobbied the Scottish Land Fund for £150,000 needed to purchase the pub on behalf of the local community.

They then needed to crowdfund another £105,000 for the historic pub's refurbishment - the remaining £12,615 will be raised via a Crowdfunder.

Once refurbished, the pub will provide an important community space for young people, the arts and local history, in addition to its primary purpose.

Picture: Geograph/Thomas Nugent

The shareholders will now control the CBS, on a one member one vote basis. The CBS’s rules have been designed to comply with Scottish Land Fund requirements, which include a majority of shareholders being resident in the village and a £25 minimum shareholding.

The Scottish Land Fund announced last month that they would provide the funds to purchase the building, subject to a successful community share offer to raise funds to cover renovations and working capital.

Most of the funds raised will be spent on refurbishment. The parts of the building which customers don’t see are in urgent need of attention, with vegetation now growing inside the building. PBDT has gone out to tender to local contractors for the initial repair works.

The share offer had a target of £105,000, and so the CBS now hopes to raise the remainder via a Crowdfunder.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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