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Award for Douglas & Angus Estates for its effort to establish The Scrib Tree cafe


A South Lanarkshire estate has been recognised for its outstanding work in boosting the local community and its economy.

Douglas & Angus Estates, Lanark, has received Scottish Land & Estates’ South West region’s ‘Helping It Happen’ award in recognition of their impressive efforts in helping to establish and support The Scrib Tree restaurant and cafe.

The Scrib Tree is located in the village of Douglas and was opened in 2012. A previously derelict coal yard the estate supported and financially assisted partner John Gold to restore the site and go on to create a hospitality outlet that acts as a focal point for the local community.

This partnership led to the provision of jobs for local people throughout the 12-month construction period, with 10 people now employed by the café on an ongoing basis. The Scrib Tree’s opening led to the visual enhancement of the heart of village, as well as the creation of two other new local businesses. This means enhanced facilities to attract visitors and increased revenue to the rural economy through a business that heavily promotes local produce.

The Helping It Happen awards are part of an initiative run by Scottish Land & Estates to highlight how landowners and rural businesses across Scotland play a key role in enabling and supporting success in rural areas.

Nominations open in March for the national Helping It Happen awards, and members of the public will be invited to propose their local estate where it has done something to help their community. An awards ceremony will be held in late-May and more details on the campaign, and the awards, can be found at

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates’ South West region, said the Douglas & Angus Estates award was fitting recognition for the role the estate had played in rejuvenating a now treasured local amenity.

Mr Johnstone said: "Douglas & Angus Estates played a significant role in getting The Scrib Tree off the ground and it has had a major impact on the local community and the village of Douglas. For many years, it had been noticeable that the centre of the town had been suffering. Now, when you drive through the village, you are welcomed by a building that is sympathetic to its historic environment, right at the heart of the community which exudes confidence and an air of attention to detail and care.

“It provides a gateway for selling local produce to both the village of Douglas and those from wider afield, and is a perfect example of how an estate can use its position to dramatically benefit a local community.”

Henry Birch, Estates Factor for Douglas & Angus Estates, said:“The restoration of the coal yard and the creation of the Scrib Tree started out as a project to try and enhance the centre of the village. We consulted with the community about what they wanted to see on the site and the Scrib Tree, in conjunction with John Gold, followed.

“We worked with local tradesmen from Douglas and Glespin for the building works and great credit must go to Frank Swords for delivering the building project. John and his team then took over and have created a ‘hub’ for both locals and visitors from further afield which has been hugely positive for the village as a whole.

“I think everyone who has an association with the Scrib Tree is proud of what has been achieved and we are flattered, amazed and delighted to have been singled out by Scottish Land & Estates for this award.  

John Gold, partner, The Scrib Tree, said: “We are really thankful to Douglas & Angus Estates for their efforts in establishing The Scrib Tree. The estate was committed to facilitating this development and their assistance has allowed us to achieve our ambitions for the business and for creating a venue that is valued by the local community.

“We are positive about the future for Douglas and it is great that the estate is determined to help the community wherever it can.”


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