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Cheers! Britain’s most remote pub now officially in the hands of community group

The Old Forge Community Benefit Society behind the bar.
The Old Forge Community Benefit Society behind the bar.

The Old Forge pub in Knoydart, famous as Britain’s remotest pub, has been officially bought over by a community group after 14 months of fundraising.

Locals who formed the Old Forge Community Benefit Society (CBS) are now finally behind the bar as the new owners.

Last year, the group formed in an attempt to buy the 19th Century pub and prevent it from being turned into housing.

Their mission was a success, and the landmark pub in Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula is now fully community owned.

The CBS spent over a year raising more than £320,000, also receiving an extra boost from Scottish Land Fund and Community Ownership Fund and the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund.

Having secured enough money to purchase the building and undertake essential renovations, the reopening date is now just around the corner.

Posted by The Old Forge CBS on Monday, 28 March 2022

When will the Old Forge reopen?

It is hoped that the Old Forge will reopen in less than three weeks’ time.

Stephanie Harris, secretary of the CBS said: “All going well we hope to reopen at Easter weekend, but we’ll confirm this nearer the time.

“We’re in the process of hiring staff and already have a number of local residents lined up which is great, and means we are achieving one of our goals to provide new local employment.”

‘We can steer it forward’

With the buying of the pub now finalised, the CBS was finally allowed inside to get a proper look at what work needs done.

“We haven’t been able to access the building up to this point except for when our building inspectors were permitted entry for valuation purposes,” said Ms Harris.

“The inspection identified a number of essential works to make the building safe and fit-for-purpose, so we plan to open on a drinks-only basis for the first few months until we can renovate the kitchen.”

The Old Forge Community Benefit Society at the pub.

Ms Harris explained that pub’s new ownership will enable the community to make sure it benefits the local area and those living there.

“We are ecstatic that after so many months of hard work we have been successful in securing the pub for the community,” she said.

“The Old Forge plays such an important role in Knoydart’s social culture and economic sustainability, and with the business now in the community’s hands we can steer it forward in a way that will work for the needs of the locals and the thousands of visitors who come every year.”

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