A community raising money to buy Britain’s remotest pub, the Old Forge in Knoydart, has just launched a crowdfunding scheme allowing members of the public to donate in support.
The scheme (view it here) aims to raise £40,000 in just three days. People who pledge money to the crowdfunding campaign will be able to choose from a range of ‘rewards’, including limited edition T-shirts at £30 and having your name engraved on a bar by local craftspeople for £250.
Situated in the village of Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula, the Old Forge holds a Guinness World Record for the ‘remotest pub in mainland Britain’.
Despite being part of the British mainland, Inverie is not connected to the main road network and can only be reached by a 17 mile (27 kilometre) hike through the ‘rough bounds’ of Knoydart, or a seven-mile ferry from Mallaig. Knoydart’s reputation for isolation and challenging terrain is legendary among many hillwalkers.
The Old Forge was put up for sale in January, and since then local residents in the village of Inverie have banded together to organise a community buyout. They have already raised significant sums of money via a community share offer scheme over the summer, but the money they aim to raise through crowdfunding will go towards upgrades to the bar.
Isla Miller, a member of the buyout scheme’s management committee, says “The crowdfund campaign is the last piece of the puzzle in our complex fundraising strategy. With the majority of the capital that we need now secured, we were able to crunch the numbers to work out our shortfall, and that’s where crowdfunding comes in to play.”
“We spent a long time coming up with a range of rewards to suit every taste and budget” added Jackie Robertson, part of the team working on the crowdfunding campaign. “Originally, we thought we would need to crowdfund for half the money needed to buy the Old Forge which was such a daunting prospect, but we have been really lucky to be successful in our grant applications and the community share offer.
“With money in the bank already we need this last part for us to be able to carry out the work needed to make the building last for future generations.”
With the majority of funds secured the Community Benefit Society formed to buy the pub is now in the process of submitting a formal offer to the seller. If successful, it means that locals and supporters will be in control of the pub’s future, and business operations will be defined with community benefit as a priority. Profits will be reinvested back into the business and other local projects.
Other rewards on offer through the crowdfunding scheme include discount loyalty cards, special edition merchandise and virtual pub nights where punters tune in live to the Forge bar.
View and donate to the scheme here.