Campaigners launch bid to raise £160,000 and save Crook Inn for Tweedsmuir community

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The Tweedsmuir Community Company (TCC) is launching a fundraising appeal for £160,000 to buy The Crook Inn after it secured a binding contract obliging the current owner to sell it to them – provided they can raise the money by the end of 2012, writes Sandy Neil.

The TCC announced it now has the sole legal right to buy, renovate and operate the historic 400-year-old inn, which has been closed since 2006 – but only if the community campaign can raise the agreed price this year.

The Crook Inn, one of the oldest inns in Scotland and where national poet Robert Burns wrote Willie Wastle’s Wife, has been the subject of a lengthy community campaign to secure ownership of the former pub to reinvigorate it as a viable business and enduring part of the Upper Tweeddale area.

James Welch, the TCC’s director, explained: “The TCC has ambitious plans to bring the hostelry back to life as the centrepiece of a multipurpose new tourism focus, and as a hub for community projects.

“The deal gives the TCC immediate access to the property under a licence, with a binding contract of sale which must be completed before the end of 2012.

“The community must raise the agreed price of £160,000 in order to buy the property, and will shortly be launching a major fundraising campaign under the ‘Save the Crook’ banner to start the process.”

Mr Welch revealed to TheSouthern: “We’re confident we already have a third of the money we need”, and the TCC’s website – www.savethecrook.org.uk – is currently being overhauled to help facilitate the fundraising campaign. In addition to funds through a programme of activities at the former inn during the year, including the now well-established Tweedsmuir Music Festival,” Mr Welch added, “the TCC is optimistic that support will be forthcoming from the community and further afield, including through the funds that are being set up by the two wind farms in the local area at Glenkerie and Clyde.”

Those wishing to help the fundraising campaign are invited to contact savepub@savethecrook.org.uk