Steering group is officially dissolved after failed buyout

Crichie Inn, Stuartfield
Crichie Inn, Stuartfield

The Crichie Community Inn Steering Group, which unsuccessfully bid to buy the village pub, has been dissolved.

At a meeting of the group last week, it was agreed by members to dissolve the group and donate the remaining funds to Stuartfield village groups and good causes.

A spokesman for the group told the Buchan observer: “Although we were disappointed that we were unable to buy the Crichie Inn, there is one final piece of good news.

“As a result of our fundraising efforts we still have almost £2,800 left in our bank account.

“A total of £100 will be given to each of the groups below and the remainder will be split equally between the defibrillator appeal and Stuartfield Christmas lights fund. “

The 11 groups to benefiting from a donation are; Pre School Group, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Youth Club, Primary School, Football Club, Pleasure Park, Over 50’s Club, Friendship Club and the Bowling Club.

“Finally we would like to thank everyone who supported us in our efforts to buy the Crichie Inn for the benefit of the community,” added the spokesman.

The community-buyout campaign was launched after residents raised concerns that the pub could be closed as has happened in other villages.

However, earlier thi syear villagers put the plans on ice after a year-long battle to secure the ancient inn and then announced in August that they no longer wanted to proceed with the purchase.

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.

But after three unsuccessful bids the group we formally withdrew all further interest in buying the popular pub.