Gerard Butler tells Co-op to buzz off in battle of Bumblebee Square
HE helped recreate the ancient battle between a small force of Spartans and the massed ranks of the Persians in the blockbuster movie 300.
Gerard Butler has homes in New York and California
But now actor Gerard Butler has joined a different kind of conflict, the struggle of a village community to save one of its green spaces – from the Co-op.
Paisley-born Butler, 43, is backing the battle being waged by residents of Comrie, Perthshire.
The Co-op wants to build a store and seven flats with a small garden area.
The villagers want the space, which is called Bumblebee Square, left as it is.
Butler’s mother, Margaret, has lived in Comrie for 18 years.
The actor, who has homes in New York and California, has taken a keen interest in the controversy over the shop plan.
A campaigning group called The Friends of the Square has been formed.
And they are trying to raise £100,000 to buy Bumblebee Square and keep it as a space for the whole community.
Several cash pledges have already been received and Butler has been in touch to offer his support for their campaign against the store project.
Margaret, who raised him alone from the age of 18 months after her marriage broke down, said: “He’s all for the community taking the square on.
“We moved here 18 years ago and Gerard loves Comrie, its people and the surrounding area.
He’s all for the community taking the square on
Gerard Butler's mum Margaret
“He certainly backs the community’s efforts.”
Friends of the Square treasurer and trustee Ted Henderson said yesterday: “We had heard rumours about Mr Butler getting involved but hadn’t heard anything directly.
“We got in touch with his mum and she said that he was really interested to help.
“He is supporting the campaign, though I can’t reveal who any of the donors are.
“It is great to have someone like him behind us.
“The development proposal shows us that Bumblebee Square’s days are numbered.
“It’s time to act now or miss out on the chance to secure something really positive for our village that will benefit generations to come.”
A Co-operative Food spokesman said yesterday: “As a community retailer, the opinions of local people are important to us. A small convenience store, which would create around 15 jobs, is just one element of the developer’s proposals, and we believe it would be an asset for the village.”
Butler, whose most recent film was the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen with Morgan Freeman, is currently dating the 24-year-old Romanian model Madalina Ghenea.