Campaigning spirit is alive and well in Borders

People power has won the day in Tweedsmuir after the local community finally raised the £160,000 needed to buy the historic Crook Inn.

The campaign’s success follows a four-year battle to buy the property after the 400-year-old Crook Inn – Scotland’s oldest inn – was closed in 2006. Two years later in 2008, the man who bought the hotel claimed the site was no longer viable as a business, and lodged plans to convert the eight-bedroom listed building into four large flats, and also construct a separate house on the site.

That’s when a 100-strong group of concerned local residents called the Tweedsmuir Community Company (TCC) was formed “to purchase, renovate and develop the Crook Inn as a sustainable business, and as a vital hub to meet the community needs for work, social interaction and learning.

The chairman of the campaign group, Duncan Davidson, said they had reached the total after a lot of effort and generous donations from a lot of people, both locally, nationally and internationally. Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, famous worldwide for his Inspector Rebus novels, also made a donation to the campaign.

The fact that this small community never gave up its fight to save this historic building is a testament to Borderers’ tenacity, belief in a cause and their generosity.

A lot of work still lies ahead for the community, but the Crook Inn is one step closer to being revived as a creative and social hub once more, and that can only be a good thing.