Community bid for Britain's remotest mainland pub

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe pub is in the remote Highland village of Inverie

Locals have launched a bid to bring Britain's remotest mainland pub into community ownership.

The Old Forge in Inverie sits on the Knoydart Peninsula in Lochaber.

The only way of reaching the village - and its pub - is by walking 18 miles (29km) or making a seven-mile (11km) sea crossing.

The pub's owner told residents in January of their intention to sell up, and following a consultation locals say they are keen to buy it.

The Guinness World Records lists The Old Forge as the "remotest pub in mainland Britain".

Jacqui Wallace, co-chair of the steering group leading the community bid, said the premises played a vital role in the area.

She said: "Pubs are at the heart of every community and it is no different in Knoydart.

"As well as the obvious economic benefits, more than anything we are focussing on the positive social and environmental impacts we could make if the buyout is successful."

Ms Wallace said that under the ownership model, profits would be reinvested back into the community for projects to benefit locals and visitors alike.

image copyrightStephanie Harris
image captionMore than 30 people have volunteered to help in the effort to buy and run the pub

Of the 110 local residents, more than 30 have so far offered to volunteer their time to the business, while a working group has also been set up to look at planning planning and fundraising if the sale goes ahead.

Izidor Kresnik, a steering committee volunteer, said: "As the only pub on Knoydart, The Old Forge is a very important establishment to the community.

"Under community ownership the pub would contribute greatly to the local economy as well as working in tandem with other local businesses.

"The pub also serves as a vital social asset to local residents, especially during the cold winter months when so many can feel particularly isolated."

The latest plans follow another successful campaign by the community in 1999.

Then the Knoydart Foundation purchased 17,200 acres (6,960 ha) of estate land on the peninsula for £750,000.

image copyrightStephanie Harris
image captionThe pub is seen as playing a vital role in the local community

Knoydart's coast and mountains have been described as mainland Britain's last wilderness.

The easiest route to Inverie is by boat from Mallaig. People who chose to walk from Kinlochhourn and Glenfinnan usually break the trip down to a journey of two to three days and are advised to contact the local ranger service for advice on the routes.

In the middle of the 19th Century, the land on Knoydart was cleared of crofters and turned over to sheep and deer.

In 1948, a group of crofters known as the Seven Men of Knoydart launched a land raid in a bid to live independently from the landlord system. They were unsuccessful.

However, more than 20 years ago, the community achieved what the seven had set out to do when the Knoydart Foundation purchased thousands of acres of estate land.

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