£2m sustainable eco-bar and hotel built in Auchinstarry

Scottish people are being encouraged to do their bit for the environment – by going for a pint.

The Waterside Pub Partnership has invested £2m, the largest sum spent on a public house in Scotland, on building the country’s first “eco-pub” in Auchinstarry on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Due to open in two weeks, the Boathouse was constructed using timber harvested from a sustainable source, and includes reed beds for treating waste and a geothermal heating system to draw residual heat from the canal and generate hot water and heating.

The pub will be managed by Scottish and Newcastle Pub Enterprises (S&NPE) and will have an adjoining hotel, with 10 bedrooms.

Energy costs are expected to be cut by a quarter as compared with a standard building of the same type, with water use minimised through features such as waterless urinals and low-flush toilets. Energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration have also been included, while sensors automatically switch off lights in unoccupied areas.

“The Boathouse is the most exciting pub development in Scotland today,” said Ken McGown, operations and sales director for S&NPE. “It provides fantastic facilities for the community, is beneficial to the local economy and is sympathetic to the environment – both aesthetically and from a sustainability viewpoint.”

Stuart Hay, the head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The leisure and hospitality business consumes a huge amount of energy and any attempts to reduce energy are warmly welcomed. I hope it sets a precedent for Scotland.”