Chance to save the Woodcutter pub

The Woodcutter will close today (Wednesday), but could have a future under community ownership
The Woodcutter will close today (Wednesday), but could have a future under community ownership

Abronhill residents have been given four months to secure the future of the Woodcutter pub.

Earlier this month Wilson Developments was granted planning permission by North Lanarkshire Council to erect three blocks containing 36 flats on the site.

These flats will be used as social housing and rented out in partnership with Clyde Valley Housing Association (CVHA).

The pub will close today (Wednesday) and it had been anticipated the building would be demolished once the sale of the site was concluded at the end of this month, but now CVHA has confirmed it is willing to let the community attempt to take it over, similar to the Swan Inn in Banton.

This was confirmed to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn in a letter from CVHA’s investment director John Turnbull.

He wrote: “Our intention would have been to demolish the building as soon as possible after settlement.

“However, we will look to secure this by other means for a period of four months to allow others to explore options for the building.

“I fully appreciate that proposals may not be fully developed in that time, but I do think that is a reasonable period to establish any feasibility of alternative uses and then we could review at the end of July.

“This would also still give CVHA time to progress the development and deliver the completed properties by end March 2021 to assist with the 50,000 target.”

Mr Hepburn has urged the residents of Abronhill to take inspiration from Banton if they wish to save their local pub, and suggested their is planety of support out there to help them make it a reality.

He said: “Clyde Valley Housing Association they have confirmed that they are willing to leave the building standing for an initial four month period if the local community want to look into the feasibility of keeping it open as a local amenity.

“We have the recent example in Banton where the future of the Swan Inn as a community run asset was established showing that communities can take forward these initiatives with agency support.

“Keeping important local assets in the hands of communities is a large part of the Scottish Government’s community empowerment agenda so there could be a wide range of support available for proposals like this if they are locally led and can command support.”

The Woodcutter Community Forum page of Facebook page welcomed the news and is now looking for Feedback to take things forward.

Graham Allen said: “Over the next couple of days we’ll be publishing a short survey with some basic questions on it. This will help us to gather some information and start to formulate genuine, feasible plans.

“We’ll be advertising this throughout the communities of Abronhill, Whitelees, Carbrain and Kildrum as a minimum, although anyone with a vested interest can participate. We will also need your help spreading the word to reach the thousands of people in our local areas!

“If you are willing to look hard enough opportunities will present themselves, and we have a small one here.”