Banton community pub wins national built environment award

A revived pub has taken a top award at this year’s Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards.

The Swan is a source of local pride

The My Place Awards celebrate community-led built environment projects that have transformed their locality.

They are supported by the Scottish Government, and are unique in Scotland as a national celebration of good design and conservation nominated by local people.

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Taking this year’s sustainability award was The Swan at Banton, Scotland’s first community-owned pub.

The Swan, a historic pub, has stood at the Banton village crossroads for over 170 years, geographically and metaphorically at the heart of the village.

But by 2016, the building had become dilapidated and a demolition proposal was issued. The village rallied into action, and the People United for Banton (PUB) was born.

An initial community consultation made it clear that residents not only wanted to save The Swan as a pub, but to broaden its remit to become a village hub.

After months of community effort, PUB secured funding to purchase the building, making it the first community-owned pub in Scotland. Completed in 2020,

The Swan is a source of local pride and serves the community as a restaurant, bar, café, community kitchen and gathering space.

Chair of Scottish Civic Trust, Sue Evans, said: "Congratulations to The Swan for renovating and reinvigorating a local historic landmark. The continued use and adaptation of existing buildings is a key way that the heritage sector can address the Climate Crisis.

"The adaptive reuse of buildings safeguards our cultural and built heritage, provides local training and employment opportunities and develops community capacity and resilience to respond to our changing climate.”

The overall winner at this year’s event was Ochiltree Commuity Hub in East Ayrshire.

The My Place Awards is part of Scottish Civic Trust’s work to involve more people in Scotland’s heritage and built environment. To enter a community-led built environment project for 2022, submit an entry form at myplacescotland.org.uk.