by Siobhann Dunn
FROM pub to hub- a local community is using funding to create an area for residents to enjoy.
The Swan Inn in Banton, North Lanarkshire, is up for sale and local residents are using funding from the Scottish Land Fund to buy and develop the property. They are among six groups across Scotland sharing the £1,382,613 funding.
The proposed hub will offer a post office, cafe/restaurant, pub, shop and meeting space which are no longer available in the area.
People united Baton (PUB) are leading the development. Their secretary Catherine Moneypenny said: “Our village was hit hard by the closure of the post office in 2010, followed two years later by the village shop.
“We are absolutely delighted that we can purchase the Swan Inn, which will revitalise our community and ensure the services we so vitally need are restored and secured.
“Our plans to develop the Swan Inn will extend its remit beyond a straightforward pub whilst retaining the warmth and traditional feeling of ‘the local’.”
PUB in Banton are one of six community groups sharing the money, Mingush Community Hall Associaton, The Recycling Jury Islay Group, Islay Community Forest Initiative, Tiree Community Development Trust and Cockenzie House & Gardens Trust are to share £1,382,613 funding from the Scottish Land Fund programme. Which is funded by the Scottish Government and provided in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Each project is using their funding in a variety of ways though all for the same cause- to enhance their area.
Though Banton is the first time money has been used to purchase a pub John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee chairman, fully supports the plans: “One of the many strengths of the Scottish Land Fund is its ability to respond flexibly to the individual needs of local communities.
“For example, for the first time, we’re awarding funding to enable local people to buy their village pub.
“In doing so, this community will be able to restore important facilities which have disappeared from the village in recent years, thereby creating a brighter future for local people.”