CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save an historic inn are confident they will raise the £160,000 needed by the end of the year.
The Tweedsmuir Community Company already has £100,000 to buy the village’s Crook Inn, once a haunt of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.
Chairman Duncan Davidson said: “We are cautiously optimistic. The community spirit has been amazing.”
He said the group would be targeting individuals and organisations not yet approached for bigger donations.
“We are a very small community and we need people who can see that this could be great for the community long term and would preserve an iconic listed building which is very important.”
He said anyone pledging big sums would get their money back if the project did not go ahead at any stage.
The group hope to restore the hotel to a “good sustainable pub” and community place, he said, adding: “The Crook is not a failed pub, it was a functioning pub before it was purchased.”
A community needs and feasibility study is going ahead within the next month which will look at the area’s needs, employment, transport, opportunities for business and other issues. The results would help the company come up with the best plan for the community and business at the Crook, said Mr Davidson.
Buying the old inn from owner James Doonan is the first stage, then the company will try to raise £1million to renovate the building.
The hostelry, where in 1792 Burns penned Willie Wastle’s Wife, was first licensed in 1604 and closed in 2006.
The campaigners’ next fundraiser is a race night at Broughton village hall next Friday.