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May 21, 2014

When the local is truly local

Although numbers have been falling in recent years, Scotland’s ratio of pubs to people must rank as one of the highest. Aside from its obvious function, the local pub can play a crucial role for a community by providing a social gathering point – especially in smaller remote communities.  Given the recent growth in community owned assets, it seems strange that so few pubs have come under community ownership in Scotland whereas in England, it’s much more commonplace. Here’s hoping that one of the very few Scottish examples, in West Wemyss in Fife, pulls through its recent difficulties.


For more information on West Wemyss Development Trust’s reasons for buying the the Walk Inn click here 

Prospects at the the West Wemyss Walk Inn, which was hit by financial difficulty and had to partially close last month, are looking up thanks to a positive public meeting.

The meeting, which was held on May 2, was well attended by locals who are all keen to see the Walk Inn retained as a local business to attract visitors into the village.

And although the main bistro area has had to close, a small team of dedicated volunteers has continued to run the cafe for five days a week.

The public event followed a meeting held to discuss plans to re-instate a pub inside the Walk Inn.

The meeting – which was attended by around 25 people – followed strong support from a number of locals who said they had not been listened to when the original plans for the Walk Inn were drawn up. A committee has now been formed.

At the public meeting, those who were there were divided up into four groups who then prepared options and voted for their favourite.

Mikko Ramstedt, who sits on the board for the West Wemyss Community Development Trust, which had been running the Walk Inn, said: “The plan is to have the pub running soon, we are just working through the plan of switching cafe and pub around so that we can plan and cost the ‘move’, and then do this so that it does not interrupt the cafe for instance, on the days when it it closed anyway.

“Business is picking up and the cafe is busy so we are hoping that we can find enough volunteers to keep it going and to extend operations!”