MP backs cash bid for Crook Inn site redevelopment plans

A funding offer could prove ‘game-changing’ for the continued redevelopment of an iconic Peeblesshire site, according to an MP.

The old building of the centuries-old Crook Inn on the A701 has recently been converted into a cafe and bistro through the efforts of the Tweedsmuir Community Company (TCC).

Tory MP David Mundell – who represents the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale area – visited the ‘Wee Crook’ this week to discuss ambitious plans for the further development of the community-owned site.

And Mr Mundell has voiced his support for the group’s plans to bid for money in the next round of the UK Government’s Leveling Fund.

He said: “The Crook Inn has been an iconic building, with great potential, known to local generations and regular road users.

“Many, like me, were sad to see the building fall into disrepair, but relieved when the community buyout provided a way to keep it available for public use, possibly creating jobs.

“I fully support Crook Inn’s application for UK Leveling Up funding and am ready to work with Scottish Borders Council and Destination Tweed to put forward what is a strong case.”

The fund is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves daily life across the UK.

Although not yet fully operational, the carefully converted building in Tweeddale is currently available for community events, with Rhubarbfest being held there on Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The next phase of plans includes the construction of a 16-bed dormitory and associated facilities, which would additionally serve as the accommodation modules proposed for the land.

The final phase, much further into the future, would be a sympathetic redevelopment of the Crook Inn’s main building, which has been made wind and watertight, and retains distinctive Art Deco truck stop design windows – a feature of a 1930s makeover.

Mr Mundell paid tribute to TCC board members and other volunteers involved in the ambitious projects, including work on the grounds and gardens, some located across the A701 road tourist destination to Edinburgh.

The MP called the work so far “impressive” and welcomed the fact that matching funding was already in place for the next phase, which he said was important when looking for Leveling Up and other supports.

The Crook Inn, which was licensed in 1604 and is one of Scotland’s oldest pubs, closed in 2006 after over 400 years of continuous operation.

It was frequented by such figures as national bard Robert Burns and John Buchan, author and future Governor General of Canada.