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July 30, 2008

Community fights to save their pub

The community of Midmar in Aberdeenshire have decided that their pub is too valuable an asset to lose and are opposing the current owners’ plans to close the business and convert the building into housing. They have been successful in registering their interest in buying the business under the Land Reform Act


On the 3rd September 2007 a once popular rural watering hole in Midmar, Aberdeenshire closed its doors to customers.

The Midmar Inn was originally a shop but has been an Inn for more than 100 years. Known as the Cottage Bar pre-1985 – and still referred to as such by the locals – it has been an important hub of the community with some locals visiting regularly for up to 36 years.

The Inn was taken over by its current owners in October 2004 as what a local paper recently described as a ‘thriving business’ . The then new owners stated that they planned to offer good home-cooked quality meals at reasonable prices as well as running a musician’s night every Thursday and to build on its reputation as a real ale pub. The Midmar Inn had the much sought-after honour of being mentioned in Roger Protz’s CAMRA Good Beer Guide and real ale enthusiasts came from as far afield as Dundee. After a busy start, trade appeared to decline until the unannounced and shocking closure in September 2007.

The owners stated at a public meeting that they were losing money on the Inn. The business status of the Inn appears to be at odds with several other local hostelries and a nearby visitors centre which continue to attract investment and a strong trade.

The Friends of Midmar Inn Community Company

The Friends of Midmar Inn Community Company has been formed to represent the views of the community and customers of the inn whilst its future is decided. Our vision is to have the opportunity for the company or other interested party to purchase it in order that it can re-commence trading, and once again contribute socially and economically to the community.

Why the Community Company

Midmar has a geographically dispersed population with a tremendous sense of community spirit. After the closure of the local shop in 2003, the pub is the second important community hub and amenity to be lost in recent times. The Community Company and its many supporters believe it is time to highlight their concerns about the decay of the rural way of life and their wish to maintain this valuable social gathering place.

We also appreciate certain attributes of the premises such as
o Its setting with views over the Hill of Fare, Midmar Castle and the associated herds of red deer
o Its proximity on a fast road to Echt, Westhill and Aberdeen
o The ongoing business and residential developments at Echt and Westhill
o That a shortage of local hotel accommodation ought to provide valuable revenue at a country Inn if it were set up to take advantage of such.
o The power of the local ‘community spirit’