Outlander fans from across the world have helped save a Fife village’s only pub.
Viewers of the hit show contributed to a £10,000 crowdfunder for a community takeover of the Red Lion Inn in Culross.
The village doubled as Cranesmuir in the popular drama and the connection saw donations pour in from around the globe.
Tim Collins, chairman of Culross Development Trust, said the buyout was a “last stand” after the village lost several other amenities, including another pub, a post office and shops.
And he is absolutely delighted that the community should now receive the keys to the pub by the end of the year.
“It’s absolutely super,” he said. “Any profit will go back into the community.”
Outlander fans ‘can’t wait’ to visit
The Culross community launched the online crowdfunder in February when pub owners David Alexander and Ann Dowds announced they were retiring.
The actor tweeted to his 700,000 followers that he was looking forward to drinking there again soon.
Yazzz!! Best fans! Look forward to Cait buying me a drink there soon… 😉 https://t.co/4TtXnvUy0A
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) February 22, 2021
Tim said there was no doubt the post had boosted fundraising.
“We also had a picture of him and his co-star having a drink there,” he said.
“We did get a lot of Outlander fans.
“There have been all sorts of messages coming in from the USA, Canada and all round the planet from people who chipped in.
“They can’t wait for the pandemic to be over so they can come and visit.”
Tim said the Red Lion was a tourist attraction in its own right.
“It’s absolutely great and very popular,” he said.
“The current owners decided way before the pandemic they were going to retire and put it on the market.
“And we decided that rather than seeing it go to a developer, we would make every effort to buy it as a community.”
The group has a tenant lined up ready to run the B-listed pub once the keys are handed over.
Fundraising to save Fife Outlander pub
Fundraising for the buyout also saw members of the community buy shares in the business.
And this raised a further £100,000.
But the deal was effectively sealed this week with confirmation of a £500,000 grant from the Scottish Land Fund.
This will allow the development trust to make an offer to buy the Red Lion.
“It’s really important to us,” said Tim.
“We didn’t want Culross to become a dormitory town and buying the pub helps the whole village.
“Any profit we make will go back into the community and local organisations can draw down funds.”