Villagers have put their ambitions of taking over their local pub on ice after a year-long battle to secure the ancient inn.
Residents in Stuartfield yesterday announced an end to their drive to buy the Crichie Inn.
They had hoped to buy the Burnett Street haunt, return it to its former glory and make it a focal point for the community.
The campaign was launched by residents amid fears the pub could be sold to a private developer and possibly lost for ever.
There was also concern that the establishment wasn’t being used to its full potential, with limited opening times.
Yesterday, the Crichie Community Hub Ltd announced it had now formally withdrawn its interest in buying the property.
Secretary Geoff Ewing said a last gasp attempt to reach the £100,000 target had failed.
The group received a shock earlier this year when the current owners tried to sell the inn at auction.
When it failed to sell, campaigners reconvened and decided to push ahead with the campaign by selling community shares.
As an incentive, shareholders were offered a percentage return on their investment.
When the group secured just under £80,000 they entered into negotiations with the selling agent.
Mr Ewing said: “After making three unsuccessful offers, we formally withdrew all further interest in buying the Crichie Inn.
“We now need to formally dissolve the steering group and Crichie Community Hub Ltd.”
He said that, after expenses had been paid, there was around £3,000 left in the fundraising pot which will be shared out to local groups.
A meeting will be held in October to decide how the money will be distributed.
The organisation had drawn up plans for the pub and had considered setting up a library inside, while also offering a range of activities and entertainment.
The property, which has changed hands several times in the past decade, was offered for sale at auction with a starting price of £155,000.