The Dunlop Community Hub is the name given to the community group which clubbed together to buy the last remaining pub in the village, turning it into a community space for the wider benefit of local residents.
The idea behind DCH was floated after fears were raised about the possibility of the Merito Bar being purchased by developers and converted into flats – leaving Dunlop without a single hostelry.
An application was made to the Scottish Land Fund and, with the help of a £160,000 grant, the project was underway.
After a months-long fundraising campaign to attract local investors, the purchase eventually went through successfully, with DCH reopening in June 2018.
The upper floor of the Hub has now been transformed into an inclusive community space, while the pub itself and all its staff members have been retained on the ground floor.
An open space for home-workers has been created, as well as a study space and a training kitchen to boost employability prospects in the area.
Community activities and events can be hosted in the communal spaces, with the Hub’s activities designed to create a source of income and opportunity for the wider community.
The project operates as a social enterprise, with profits reinvested in the facility and put towards other community projects.
Kevin Brown from DCH told the Daily Record at the time of the Hub’s reopening: “This is one of the first community takeovers of a pub in Scotland and it’s creating a lot of passion and energy in the village.
“It has galvanised the community and the enthusiasm has been great. We’re looking to do a lot of exciting things and we need people to get involved.
“But this can be huge for the future of the village. And we hope it sparks interest in communities across Scotland to try and save village pubs.”
For more information, contact:
Dunlop Community Hub
2-6 Stewarton Road
Phone: 01560 482992