Crieff Community Trust is seeking support for registering a community interest in the former Drummond Arms and RBS Crieff Branch, and has issued the following press release.CrieffCaresAboutDA

Press Release – February 2014

Crieff Community Trust (CCT) and its partners, Crieff Community Council and CUSP are now almost one year on from the launch of the Crieff Action Plan where the wishes of the people of Crieff for the future of their town were expressed. 

High priority among these concerns was for the future of the now empty and dilapidated Drummond Arms Hotel — a much-loved, but now sad landmark in the town.

At an early stage CCT formed a Town Centre Working Group drawing volunteer members from CCT, CCC and CUSP and this group has done a huge amount of research and planning.

However, any project involving this property will inevitably be a long and complex one as there are many issues to be addressed before any concrete action can be taken.

A legal action involving the two current owners of the building (Strathfare and the Royal Bank of Scotland) will be brought to court later this year and the result of this action may bring about the sale of the building. RBS was forced to vacate their Crieff branch in 2012 for health and safety reasons.

RBS, being aware of the Community’s concerns in relation to the building, has approached CCT with an offer to transfer their portion of the property to CCT for a nominal sum.  Discussions with RBS took place in December 2013 and, although it is not in the community’s best interests to take up this offer at present, communication with RBS will continue and the offer remains in place for the present.

The principal objective of the CCT and the Town Centre Group is to find a long-term solution to the future of the Drummond Arms.  With this in mind, and so that the people of Crieff may have some say in the future development of the proDrummondArmsperty, CCT has begun the process of applying to the Scottish Government for a Community Right to Buy.  If this is granted it will make formal the community’s interest in the building although NO purchase would take place unless a full feasibility study, a detailed business plan and adequate funding were in place. During 2014 CCT and the Town Centre Group are undertaking the first phase of this planning work. Once in place, a CRTB remains valid for five years and may be renewed if necessary.

A spokesperson for CCT said, “The Community Right to Buy application must be supported by at least 10% of registered Crieff voters so we will be raising a petition in the town during the next two months to fulfill this requirement.  This is a very important issue for Crieff and we hope that people will show their support by signing the petition. We will only proceed to purchase the Drummond Arms if the property comes on the market after funds are raised and full planning is in place. This will take some time and other options may arise in the meantime, but there are people in the town who are not prepared to stand by and do nothing while this key building at the centre of Crieff continues to deteriorate.

A group of volunteers will also collect signatures around Crieff. Look out for the next edition of Crieff Matters (automatically sent to members and available in the library and Health Centre) where the Community Right to Buy will be explained in more detail and the latest developments will be aired.

Where can people sign the petition?

If you’re a registered voter in Crieff, you can sign the petition.  It will be available at the following locations:

  • Volunteers will be in James Square between 10am and 2pm every Saturday between now and the end of March
  • At Fun Junction, High Street, daily 9.15 – 5.15

Other locations will be announced on the CCT Facebook page and on our website.

This article has 12 comments

  1. Yvonne Taylor Reply

    I’m not a resident but I feel strongly enough to ask that something positive be done with the hotel, I love visiting your town and I’m saddened that a key building in the centre is going downhill

  2. Blanche Haddow Reply

    Many old buildings falling apart but this one really does deserve to be saved. It is a beautiful old and grand building. It is a huge part of Crieff. If you look up from my flat it is the tallest building with it’s flag tower crying out to have a flag on it again. It seems devastating to me that it is just being left to rot, crumble and die. I could send you a beautiful photo of the roof tops leading up the grandest of all from that vies, The Drummond Arms. Please save it and realise it’s grandeur and importance.

  3. ROBERT MCRAE Reply

    I was born and brought up in CRIEFF it is with great sadness that I add my support to this cause. I strongly believe that the damage was done years ago when James Square had this costly makeover which looks great but obliterated the hotel trade in the centre of the town I can remember buses having to reverse up the side of the Drummond Arms into the tiny courtyard to the rear of the building.This town was a very busy hive of activity and now it’s dead also the common ground at the meadows was sold off to build a Supermarket this was probably a another factor which added to the demise of the Hotels the George and the Victoria at the bottom end of the town.There is little or nothing left of the character town I was brought up in and loved so much. Where can we go from here how can we rebuild this town and make it sparkle again What is left to attract tourists or even people who want to live in Crieff It’s sad it’s Shocking and it’s a Total disgrace that nothing has been done to save this building and now we talk of demolition as a solution. As an apprentice I worked on this building it was riddled with dry rot to the extent the bank ceiling had to come down and joists had to be replaced this was the 1970’s Then bad owners took there toll on it until Angus MacDonald brought it back to life I can go back quite a way and I know what I say is true. If this building is lost to the town of Crieff I don’t believe the town will ever be the same again this is an awesome building and what ever it takes to preserve it is nothing to what it will take to replace it.And with what…this is built with the finest of sandstone it has stood the test of time and then some. And if only a bulldozer or a wrecking ball can kill it then there is no modern structure worthy of taking it’s place I challenge anyone to show me something modern that can stand tall in the place of the Drummond Arms. I hope this can be resolved properly and sensibly one very sad patron of this Picturesque town. It has only fallen from grace not off the planet.

    • Marnie G. Reply

      One could reclaim the stone to sensitively construct terracing and a modern glass fronted structure to show off the burgh cross, ( access issues may improve in the old town hall cells but it would still be nice to have the stone actually on the High Street again, where everyone could see it, night or day. I’d build a living heritage exhibit to enthuse where people mill around with a bunkhouse at the back to assist with revenue. Build 3 floors high with old stuff / story of strathearn on the ground floor & a star wars museum on top, a retractable roof & a couple of telescopes to look out over the south or up to the stars. Whatever is done should be done to benefit Crieff. Remember the old primary school may eventually become affordable housing. James Square is a prime spot for Crieff.
      Creating open space will improve dissipation of pollution, although we may all be “”beamed up” to wherever we want to go in future, pollution may not be a problem, but by that time Crieff probably won’t have a High St. or any tourists. Mon Crieff!

  4. Evelyn Maclellan Reply

    I no longer reside in Crieff but still have family there and i return every few years. I have watched the demise of Crieff from the moment they closed off the square and made parking a problem. Crieff is a holiday town the centre of Scotland. The Drummond Arms was the Hub of the town, we would watch married couples enter for their receptions,the whole town would come to watch. Wakes were all held there again the people of Creiff would show their respect.The Drummond stood proud at the top of King Street its flag flying high a sad thought when today all we see are bushes sprouting from the roof. How can this have been allowed to happen where is your pride in the history of not only the Drummond but Crieff itsself. Its the social structure not just in Crieff but all over the world that is to blame. We would walk up the street talking and chatting to our friends as we went, most of the traffic was tourists visitors to our town. We walked the 26 pubs at night no need for a car. I worked above the coffee shop where we served bus loads of visitors lunches or high teas, all these people then went out to spend money in the town. You have to win the buses back, encourage people to walk the high street again. What about a bypass road from the Gilmerton corners for trucks and through traffic, free up parking in the town for locals and visitors encourage people to walk.I had friends from Australia wo holidayed in Scotland i encouraged them to go to Crieff, but they drove on as they couldent park, this was the case for most towns the parking was complicated they had to have a permit or some kind of disc too hard basket lets keep going. We are supposed to be a holiday town but do nothing to welcome people to stop. Perhaps there is no going back we continue to change Crieff, building over the farmland the whole look of Crieff as i knew it a beautiful town built on the side of the hill. I will always hold dear my memory of how it was, and can only hope someone will see sense in the future.

  5. Linda Reply

    How sad, my mother`s family were from Perthshire and we visited many times as children My parents had their wedding reception at The Drummond Arms 65 years ago so it has a special meaning to us. Please help to restore it to its former glory

  6. Bobby Salmond Reply

    Please put this building out of its misery and demolish it
    and form a car park
    what we need in Crieff is parking to help support our failing shops
    surely more important than one building

  7. fecampbell Reply

    As a former resident of Crieff (attended Morrisons) was horrified to see the D.A. last year on my visit back to Crieff – please restore this lovely hotel back to its former glory. Do not spoil the square by taking it down and putting up a modern monstrosity like on Scrimgeours corner.

  8. June McEwan Reply

    I agree with Bobby Salmond. The Drummond is a great building, but Crieff has air pollution and no easy place to stop if you’re having a day out and about. The High Street layout encourages people to drive through, not stop and enjoy. Opening up the centre would benefit the town. The building is owned privately and is not expected to be easily sold. We shall have to watch it disintegrate. Sad & Awful.
    Slap an order on it and blow it up! Create an opportunity for a stopping place, perhaps a small community museum and a car park. A picnic area at St Michaels Graveyard and regeneration will follow

  9. ursula crouch Reply

    I came to Crieff recently on a Lochs and Glens holiday.We come about 4 times per year and love to visit towns such as Crieff with all their history.I stood outside the Drummond Arms and could have wept at the state this wonderful building had been allowed to fall into
    With all its association with Bonnie Prince Charlie and magnificent architecture I feel it would be an absolute disgrace to let it fall down
    Please save it for the nation,for local people and visitors from far away,like me from Cornwall

    • Marnie G. Reply

      Hello Ursula,
      You are correct in thinking Bonnie prince Charlie held his last war council in the OLD inn, not the current hotel building which was built c1870.
      I personally think Crieff would benefit from creating green space & terracing in this area along with a heritage centre come bunkhouse in the space where the bank is.

  10. DELIA Reply

    Stayed at this historic place many years ago. fond memories of it. sad to see it closed.

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