Banton pub renovation gets £740,000 lottery funding

Image source, Geograph/JThomas
Image caption,
The Swan Inn will also serve as a Post Office, shop and cafe

A village pub will get a £740,000 cash boost from the National Lottery to turn it into a community hub.

The money has been awarded to a community group in Banton, near Kilsyth, for a major renovation of the Swan Inn.

Investment comes after the People United for Banton (PUB) campaign bought the closure-threatened bar in 2017.

Catherine Moneypenny, Secretary of PUB, said the Swan Inn could be "the community hub we all want and need".

A total of £5,728,140 has been announced by the Big Lottery Fund for 24 community groups across Scotland.

Ms Moneypenny said: "In its new incarnation the Swan Inn will house a gorgeous cafe, restaurant, and shop as well as a traditional pub. Banton will enjoy fantastic facilities and have a fabulous place to welcome visitors to our beautiful village.

"The whole village has come together to make this happen, and our confidence in our community and our future has skyrocketed."

Land fund

Residents from the tiny North Lanarkshire village bought the the Swan Inn thanks to £184,490 from the Scottish Land Fund.

The new £738,149 funding will enable a complete renovation of the pub into a community hub, following the closure of the local Post Office in 2010 and the village store two years later.

Other projects given funding include local Rutherglen radio station CamGlen, which will use nearly £150,000 to continue and develop its community programming. The station is partly staffed by volunteers with support needs and will be able to further help local people into broadcasting.

Tam Curry, coordinator at CamGlen Radio, said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive support from the Big Lottery Fund. The funding is going to enable us to continue recruiting and supporting local people, no matter their experience, background or barriers, to become fully-fledged members of our broadcast team."

Also funded is Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust which has been awarded £150,000 to create a "wellbeing hub" north of Kilmarnock town centre.

Trustee Allan Brown said: "We are delighted to be awarded National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund and look forward to being able to deliver a health and wellbeing hub for the community.

"This will make a real difference to the people of Kilmarnock who are experiencing difficulties relating to a variety of issues including mental and physical health."

Barra and Vatersay

A new centre for organisations helping adults with support needs on the neighbouring islands of Barra and Vatersay in the Western Isles will be funded by a £830,000 investment.

Nearly £300,000 will be used to develop a network of volunteer buddies throughout Fife to support vulnerable families and children in their communities.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair Maureen McGinn said: "This latest investment of £5.7m will help communities across Scotland to flourish by bringing local people together.

"Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, thousands of people will gain access to multi-purpose community spaces in their local area which will improve their health and wellbeing. For others, the funding will provide opportunities to build their skills and confidence, and inspire them to achieve personal ambitions."

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £35bn has been raised and more than 490,000 grants awarded.

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