Budget boost for Knoydart pub buyout group

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Plans for a community buyout of The Forge Pub in Knoydart received a further boost last week when being awarded £219,096 in funding as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s UK budget.

The package has been awarded directly to The Old Forge Community Benefit Society, formed by a group of local residents, from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund established to empower local communities to own and manage treasured local community assets.

Welcoming the news of this most recent funding, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, Jamie Halcro Johnston, said: ‘This funding is a wonderful boost from the UK Government to a very deserving local project.

‘The people of Knoydart have worked extremely hard to save their local pub – and I look forward to seeing the benefits that The Old Forge will bring to the local area and community.

‘This investment shows the support and security even the remotest communities in Scotland gain from being part of a strong United Kingdom.’

Last month the society announced that it had been awarded £508,000 through the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) to support the purchase and redevelopment of the pub, while a further £256,035 has been raised through a community share offer.

The venue, Britain’s remotest pub, is on the market for offers over £425,000, but that figure does not include the owner’s asking price for goodwill of the business.

This additional funding will help enable the residents to buy The Old Forge and redevelop the pub in a sustainable way and boost tourism to the area.

The Society will be launching a crowdfund campaign shortly to meet any additional costs.