Campaigners aiming to buy Britain’s most remote pub, The Old Forge, in the Highlands are poised to launch the final phase of their campaign with a crowdfunding drive.
The Old Forge Community Benefit Society has already raised £250,000 through a share offer in the Knoydart business.
Now the campaign group aiming to secure of the future of the pub, which is only accessible by an 18-mile hike or by a seven-mile boat trip, have launched a £40,000 fundraising drive to complete the massive appeal.
What is the money needed for?
The Old Forge was put up for sale in January by its Belgian owner who blamed Brexit and Covid for his decision.
Locals in Inverie, which is on the shore of the Knoydart peninsula, quickly organised a campaign to secure the future of the building for residents.
The premises has been put on the market for offers over £425,000 with campaigners needing to raise money for the buyout. A formal bid is in the process of being submitted.
Meanwhile, upgrades are planned for the bar area once the purchase is complete with more work planned to ensure the building, which was built as a blacksmith’s forge, lasts for future generations.
Initially it was feared that crowdfunding would have to make up about half of the total project costs.
However, a £500,000 boost from the Scottish Land Fund and a further £219,000 from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund has reduced the burden.
How is the crowdfunding campaign working?
The Old Forge Community Benefit Society wants to raise £40,000 as part of the crowdfunding campaign in just 30 days.
The initiative was launched on Thursday, November 18 with organisers offering perks to those who pledge money.
Benefits on offer include having your name engraved on a new timber bar-top to be made from local timber as well as discount cards, invites to virtual pub nights and special merchandise.
Committee member Isla Miller said: “The crowdfund campaign is the last piece of the puzzle in our complex fundraising strategy.
“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.”
You can support The Old Forge crowdfunding campaign online here.