THE Star and Garter Hotel at No.1 The High Street in Linlithgow could be part of a new rescue plan unveiled this week by local groups.
Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow, Linlithgow Business Association, Linlithgow Civic Trust and Linlithgow Heritage Trust have written up a proposal to put the building that burnt to a shell in 2010 back on the Linlithgow social scene. The Star and Garter is currently in the hands of liquidators, looking for a buyer.
John Aitken of Linlithgow Civic Trust, speaking on behalf of the four groups, said: “The Star and Garter is an iconic ‘B’ listed building in a key location in the town centre, that could be restored and put to good community use. The Star and Garter building is held in great affection by the community, and is currently giving a bad first impression to visitors entering the town.”
Their ideas for the townhouse include a family pub or restaurant on the ground floor and a relocated Linlithgow Town Museum, with community space for a dance studio, band practice and meeting rooms on the first floor.
But for the plans to become a reality, the groups have suggested it become priority number one for the Linlithgow Community Development Trust (CDT), currently being formed by the Town Management Group, for the advancement of projects in the town. However even if this plan is not adopted, the groups are confident they will be able to gain funding from other sources.
John Aitken added: “Initial enquiries indicate that grant funding could be available for the purchase and restoration of the Star and Garter, and initial approaches have produced a very positive response.
“The liquidator, who is keen to get an early sale, has had several offers which are seen by the bank as too low. There is a risk that it might be sold to a developer who could sit on the site for a long time, like the derelict Victoria Hall. If this project is adopted, it is essential that action is taken quickly – before the building is sold to a developer and it is too late.”
Other projects currently being considered for adoption by the CDT are Kettil’stoun sports facility and allotments, Clarendon House, and the former British Linen Bank building, next to the County Buildings. The proposals were discussed by the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Town Management group on Wednesday who decided to present the updates proposals to consultants who are currently assessing all four projects, including the Star and Garter.
Spokesman John added: “We believe this worthwhile project will succeed and the four organisations involved will take this on board even if it is not adopted by the CDT.”