Portpatrick is a small coastal village in the far south-west of Scotland, and only a few years ago the state of its harbour was a cause for concern. Suffering from poor facilities and disintegrating infrastructure, there was serious doubt over its future as a working port. Desperate to prevent it from falling into disuse, local villagers formed a trust and bought the harbour from its private owners.
By 2015, struggling to pay back a loan that had been used to finance the purchase, the villagers decided to sell shares in the harbour to raise money. The trust became Scotland’s first community benefit society (an organisation run entirely for the benefit of the local community, with profits being put back into the community rather than given to shareholders). Three weeks after the shares went on sale the trust had raised the money they needed (£100,000).
A new film called Keepers, starring Gerard Butler, is currently being filmed in the area. The film is inspired by the true story of three lighthouse keepers who mysteriously disappeared from the remote Flannan Isles (off the north-west of Scotland) in 1900. Portpatrick harbour is one of the locations being used for the film.