The future of The Swan Inn has been secured after People United for Banton (PUB) were awarded more than £700,000 in Lottery funding.
In October 2016 when The Swan Inn was threatened with demolition the village came together to save its only pub, having already lost its post office and only shop.
The PUB group was born and has worked tirelessly to bring The Swan Inn into community ownership and transform it in line with the needs of the village.
In December the Scottish Land Fund awarded PUB £180,000 to buy The Swan Inn and when the current lease expires in June.
Now an award of over £738,000 from the Big Lottery Fund will guarantee the total transformation of The Swan Inn with the addition of a café, a restaurant, a shop and dedicated community space.
The level of community support and involvement has been phenomenal, with seven out of ten Banton households taking part in the community consultation process and over 150 people, more than a third of the village, volunteering their time to the project.
Grace McGinnity of PUB said: “In October 2016 the people of Banton got the terrible news when time was called on our only pub .
“Now after a huge community campaign we’re buying it and thanks to a marvellous Big Lottery grant a bigger, better, brilliant Swan Inn will emerge from what promised to be a community catastrophe.”
Catherine Moneypenny, PUB secretary, added: “The whole village has come together to make this happen and our confidence in our community and our future has skyrocketed.”
PUB will take the keys on June 22, andThe Swan Inn will continue to operate in its current form while the design plans are finalised. In September it will close for redevelopment and reopen again as a pub, cafe, restaurant and shop in the spring of 2019.
Kilsyth councillor Mark Kerr congratulated PUB on their success.
He said: “The PUB project is bursting with potential to bring lots of physical and regeneration benefits to the village and its vibrant community.
“The plans are excellent and I am pleased the Lottery has seen the potential of the project and assisted the community to secure its future.”
PUB launches a crowdfunding campaign this week to raise the five per cent match funding needed to buy the building in June, this will be followed by a share launch in the autumn.
There will also be a fundraising events in Banton starting with a kids’ disco at the village hall on Sunday, from 3-5pm, and a Rock Choir Concert in the near future.
For more information visit the People United for Banton page on Facebook.