A SECRET ballot has revealed considerable local support in North Queensferry for a community bid to buy the Albert Hotel.

Seventy eight per cent of the electorate in the village voted in the ballot – and 98.6 per cent them voted in favour of the community bid.

The ballot was organised by the North Queensferry Community Trust and asked residents to state whether they were for – or against – an application for the Albert Hotel to be purchased and restored as a “sustainable development” for the community.

The leader of the 'Save the Albert' Campaign, Alastair Ritchie, said: "We are delighted with the result of the vote and the number of residents who took part. The results can now be shared with the Scottish Government Community Land Team before a decision about the next phase of the community right to buy application."

In order for the Trust to proceed with a ‘Community Right to Buy Part 5’ application, they required more than half of the community’s electorate to submit a vote, and more than half of those voting to vote in favour.

Chair of the North Queensferry Community Trust, Iain Mitchell said: "The fact that the result showed such clear and overwhelming support will give the Trust the confidence to make a Part 5 Application if that is needed, and we should pay tribute to The Save the Albert campaign for its huge success in helping secure this excellent result."

Dunfermline Press: Campaigners want to run the hotel both as a pub and community hub.Campaigners want to run the hotel both as a pub and community hub. (Image: Contributed)

North Queensferry Community Trust's plan is to nominate the Albert Community Group Ltd to purchase and restore the hotel and run it as not just a pub, but as a hub for the community.

The Albert Hotel has been closed since 2017.

The owner Kenny Waugh had sought permission to turn the building into flats, but this was refused.

He has drawn up his own plans to reopen the premises as a pub, restaurant and hotel.