A TWEEDDALE village is celebrating this week as a popular shop is finally under community ownership.

The Knot, in West Linton, first opened in July 2021 under the auspices of the West Linton Enterprise Group (WLEG).

The former Red Cross charity shop went up for sale two years ago.

And although the community did not have the funds at the time to buy the site outright, a good samaritan purchased the shop and allowed the WLEG to use the space while raising funds to buy it back from the anonymous donor.

Allison Glasse, co-chair of the WLEG, said: “I think it’s amazing. It’s been a long two years to get there.”

Volunteer committee member Ian Reid said: “That’s just over two years since the community got the news that the Red Cross shop was to be closed. And all things considered it’s been quicker than anticipated to get to this stage.

“We had the unexpected excitement of learning that someone local had bought the shop to give the community the opportunity and time to raise the funds to buy it for the community.

“It’s been the whole community that’s given us the impetus to do what we’ve done and give us direction as well in terms of what they thought would be a good use of The Knot.”

Mr Reid added that the shop isn’t only for residents of West Linton, but is supported by volunteers and customers from the ‘Whipman area’ – communities around West Linton including Lamancha, Dolphinton and Carlops.

The shop, which features a gallery space and the Emporium – selling secondhand and donated clothes – has between 25 and 28 volunteers working there.

Jenny Edwards, who works as a secretary, volunteers at The Knot on her day off from work and says she enjoys meeting different people in the shop.

She said: “It’s made such a difference to me [volunteering], just to be more sociable.

“You end up speaking to people you may have heard of but then you meet them and you can put a face to a name.

“I love seeing the older people come in. For two weeks in a row there were two 90-year-olds who came in and it was just nice hearing their stories.

“I think some people don’t talk to many people and they’ll come in and have a wee blether.”

Praising the work of volunteers, Ms Glasse added: “They’re all wonderful.

“They really get what the Knot’s about.”

Looking to the future, Ms Glasse said: “It would be too easy to rest on our laurels.

“Having been trading for two years already, we know we can do that bit, so we now need to work on the giving back side of it.

“Hopefully having the funds available to give back to local organisations and projects, but that’s one of the main things we’ll be looking at.

“Another thing is we are trying to increase money that we can make from the gallery

“At the moment the artists rent their shelf space but I’d quite like to be able to put together some sort of workshop schedule to bring things like that into the village.

“Hopefully not too expensive workshops so that people can come and learn about what the artists do.

“I’ve got all sorts of ideas to go with the gallery. It’s really quite exciting.”