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Crime writer Ian Rankin hails historic Highland pub a 'national institution' as campaign launched to save it as a music venue

By Val Sweeney

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A campaign has been launched to save a historic pub in the Highland capital as a music venue after being put up for sale.

The Market Bar – which has hosted early career performances by musicians such as The Proclaimers and Paulo Nutini – has been put on the market.

Fans of the small pub, including renowned crime writer Ian Rankin, are now rallying to the call for it to be saved as a music venue.

Mr Rankin, who has a home on the Black Isle, said the Market Bar was not alone in being on the list of endangered species of Scottish pubs.

"It is a monument," he said. "It is a national institution."

The pub, which is located in an alleyway leading to the Victorian Market, has been operated by Ian and Pep Shepherd for almost 40 years but the couple have now decided it is time to retire and hand over to someone younger.

Believed to originate from the 1740s, is one of the oldest in the city and has a long history as a hostelry.

Related story: Historic Highland pub up for sale

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