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Isle of Bute villagers launch bid to buy local pub

Port Bannatyne residents will launch a community share offer next week.

Published: November 16, 2021

This move will allow those that live in the village on the Isle of Bute to complete the purchase of the Anchor Tavern and the former off-licence at 34 Marine Road, which will become a flexible community hub space.

An information drop-in will be held in the Port Hall on Tuesday 16 November between 6 - 9pm.

Residents and supporters will be invited to buy shares in Port Bannatyne Development Trust, the Community Benefit Society (CBS) that will own the Anchor.

The Scottish Land Fund announced last month that they would provide the funds to purchase the building, subject to a successful community share offer to raise funds to cover renovations and working capital.

The shareholders will then control the CBS, on a one member one vote basis. The CBS’s rules have been designed to comply with Scottish Land Fund requirements, which include a majority of shareholders being resident in the village and a £25 minimum shareholding.

The majority of the funds raised will be spent on refurbishment. In particular, the parts of the building that are in urgent need of attention.

The share offer aims to raise between £50K and £105K, with the extent of the renovations carried out dependent on the total raised, and priorities to be decided by the new CBS.

Jon Sear, vice-chair of Port Bannatyne Development Trust said “We know £105,000 is a lot of money to try to raise for a small village like Port Bannatyne, but we are encouraged by the success of other communities, in particular Knoydart, whose pub Share Offer just raised twice this amount and had to be closed early, despite their smaller population.

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"Our biggest challenge is that we can’t accept more shareholders from outside the Port Bannatyne area than live locally, so unless the number of applications from Port residents exceeds our expectations, we have no choice but to prioritise higher value applications from non-residents”.

After shares have been allocated to village residents, the Trust has committed to prioritising applications for £200 or more of shares from other island residents and second home owners, and applications for £1000 or more of shares from supporters wherever they are.

The society aims to pay investors 2% interest after year three and is applying to register for HMRC’s Social Investment Tax Relief scheme which offers attractive tax incentives for larger investors.

Picture: Geograph/Thomas Nugent

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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