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Inn buyout will take time, warns group

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By Newsdesk
Moffat
Inn buyout will take time, warns group

IT will be a ‘long road’ to bring a disused Moffat hotel into community ownership.

That was the view of Moffat community councillors on Tuesday when they discussed progress on their proposals to take over the Mercury Motor Inn on behalf of the community.

At a virtual meeting, community councillor Liam O’Neill explained that he had attended a Scottish Government webinar about the community purchase of land, describing the process as “quite daunting”.

He said: “It was an interesting webinar and raised many questions – there is a lot of work to be done and many phases to go through, and of course there are associated costs.

“It is a long road, we are not talking about a quick fix.”

The Mercury Motor Inn, owned by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, has been unoccupied for more than two decades, but numerous campaigns to demolish the derelict building have proved unsuccessful.

Community councillors hope the prospect of community ownership will reignite discussions about the building and its future.

Fiona Murray, who first raised the community ownership idea in October, said: “It is very complicated and could be really time consuming, but it is still really worthwhile.

“Everything that we do, even if we just make a wee bit of progress, even making the commitment to do this, even having this topic on the agenda every meeting, is showing that we have got the drive and commitment.

“It is putting pressure on the current owners to decide what they are going to do, so I think it is still very worthwhile.”

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