Nairn groups create a powerhouse for action

Four organisations have joined forces to create a powerhouse which will work to regenerate Nairn town following the Covid 19 crisis.

Nairn BID, Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise (NICE) and the town’s two community councils believe by pooling their resources they can get the seaside town back on its feet with a series of initiatives.

Representatives from each of the groups have developed a strategy for recovery which will involve engaging with Highland Council and relevant public agencies and others to mobilise resources.

The key aims of the group are to take forward projects which will support enterprise and job creation, to retain local workforce and skills and to promote Nairn as a place to live and visit. 

From left: Nairn BID chair Michael Boylan, Tommy Hogg chairman of Nairn River CC, Sheena Baker chair of Nairn West and Suburban CC and Alastair Noble chair of NICE

Collaboration

Speaking on behalf of the collaboration, Bob Ferenth a member of the Nairn BID board and convener of the group said: “There are many projects that we can develop as a collective working group and have identified several that should be progressed to help revive and improve the town. By working collaboratively, we will have a stronger voice. The effects of the downturn are already evident, but the community wants to move quickly to plan for and build a more resilient local economy for Nairnshire.”


He added: “During the lockdown, businesses adapted and found new ways of operating, but these were short-term responses to the immediate crisis. The local economy now faces the threat of a substantial rise in redundancies as the furlough scheme winds down. Some local businesses are not yet confident of reopening. Guest bookings are uncertain. Almost all the major annual events that bring visitors have been cancelled. What our collective approach has done is identify key areas such as encouraging visitors, regenerating the town centre, enhancing the amenities at the Links, and improving access and travel routes into and around the town to name but a few, that will help Nairn recover from what has been catastrophic for the local economy.”

Tourism

Speaking specifically about tourism, Michael Boylan, chairman of Nairn BID said: “Our collective aim is to limit and alleviate the impact of the current difficulties and find ways of encouraging the tourism, visitors and footfall which so many businesses depend on. The beach is still there as are the golf courses and there are plenty of outdoor recreational options. We want to persuade people to visit and enjoy what Nairn offers and contribute to the revival of the local economy.”

Work has already begun on a new children’s splash pad which was a jointly funded project between charity Team Hamish, NICE, Nairn Common Good Fund and Highland Council.

Team Hamish

Alastair Noble, Chair of NICE said this is evidence that collaboration can lead to positive outcomes: “The entire community responded to the Team Hamish vision. The partnership shows that cooperation can work.  We now need to extend and reinforce that approach on a much more ambitious scale to deliver the kind of measures that will keep the local economy going and sustain local employment.”

Led by NICE, the group has already submitted an application to the Scottish Government, with the support of Highland Council for funding to restore and repurpose a historic building as a visitor centre and business hub which is intended to encourage greater footfall into the High Street.

Sheena Baker, chair of Nairn West and Suburban CC said: “We are already making waves and in this time of adversity, it is more important than ever the people of Nairn pull together.  

“We are counting on our elected councillors to join in these efforts and to back the proposals and projects which we are proposing. Public money will be needed. 

“The Council is meeting on Thursday (June 25) to consider the challenges of regeneration and recovery.  We are keen to collaborate in action which will make a real and sustainable difference to the economy, will create and protect jobs, and will enable us to find a way out of the present difficult situation.”

Splashpad Work to Start Soon

#TeamHamish pride as first phase of work is set to start on Nairn’s new children’s splashpad

The family behind the #TeamHamish fundraising effort to bring a new children’s splash pad to Nairn has welcomed news that phase one of the work is to start on 15 June.

Nairn couple Sam and Susan Hey lost their son Hamish to a rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer on 20 February 2017.

The support Hamish’s family received from the Nairn community in the aftermath of his death was incredible and the family wanted to do something to thank everyone.

They also wanted to create a lasting legacy to their son, so they set up the charity, #TeamHamish, to raise funds for a new splashpad at Nairn beach.

The splash pad is a jointly funded project between #TeamHamish, NICE, Nairn Common Good and Highland Council and is the result of extensive engagement with the community in Nairn.

Today’s announcement is a bittersweet moment for all involved in the project following the tragic death of Hamish’s mum Susan in May, who co-founded the #TeamHamish charity. Susan sadly lost her own battle with cancer last month.

The new start date is in line with Scottish Government guidance on construction sites reopening and the contractor, Ustigate, will be following all appropriate health and safety guidance including physical distancing measures for the operation of the works.

Cllr Tom Heggie, Chair of the Nairn and Nairnshire committee said: “Whilst the Council, Team Hamish and NICE are pleased that work is about to begin, we all acknowledge that it is with great sadness that Susan Hey, who had looked forward to this so much and done so much to bring it about, is unable to be with us to see this happen.

“The first three weeks or so will see a small number of operatives (approx. three) setting up the site and demolishing the existing paddling pool. They will be installing protective barriers around the site to ensure a safe distance between the workers and the general public.”

Works are expected to take around four months to complete.

Susan’s husband and co-founder of #TeamHamish, Sam said: “We are absolutely delighted that after over three years of fundraising, the first phase of our #TeamHamish proposals are finally coming to fruition.

“This represents positive progress for Nairn, its Community and beyond and is a bright sparkle of rainbow light shining through the difficulties of recent months, as well as the creation of a lasting legacy for both Hamish and Susan.”

ends

New #TeamHamish Splash Pad

After years of effort by #TeamHamish and others, Highland Council has announced that the new Splash Pad work will begin at the end of March and will be completed by the end of July. A great new asset for Nairn and a fitting memorial for Hamish Hey.

Council Press Release

The splash pad will be located on the site of the existing paddling pool on the Nairn Links however it will provide a facility that is more accessible and can be open and enjoyed by children and adults for a longer period throughout the year.

The splash pad is a jointly funded project between #TeamHamish / NICE, Nairn Common Good and Highland Council and is the result of extensive engagement with the community in Nairn.   One recommendation of the Nairn Links Development Plan, this project is seen as phase 1 of the overall plan for the Nairn links area.

Cllr Tom Heggie, Chair of the Nairn and Nairnshire committee said: “I am delighted that work on this new facility is beginning.  This will be the first one of its kind in Highland and will be a fantastic development for the community.”

Sam Hey of Team Hamish said: “Susan and I are really excited about the prospect of this work finally starting.  We have planned for this over a long period of time and want to thank everyone who contributed to the Team Hamish fund who have made this happen.”  

Contractor Ustigate will begin on site at the end of March with the works expected to be completed and in use by the end of July.  Ustigate are an experienced provider of water play facilities and have installed more than 100 across the country.

Information boards providing visuals and further details of the works will be available for viewing in Nairn Community Centre from the week beginning 23 March 2020.  Updates on progress on the work will also be posted here.

The works will be project-managed by the Council’s Property Service.

NICE 2019 Chair Report

NICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2019

I am very happy to report that I am now seeing a positive way forward. We must work with the new C/E at Highland Council and we are really pleased to have Donna here tonight.

I want you all to leave this meeting seeing a clear strategy to deliver what I believe we all want.

What do we want? Nairn and Nairnshire to be recognised as a centre of innovation and development. NICE has been working hard to build the necessary relationships to allow us all to work together. We have always argued that Nairnshire is a great place to stay and to holiday in.

But it needs investment and support. We want to see more and better local jobs. We want to see a green sustainable future.

So, what have we been working on?

Firstly, we were asked to help deliver the BID (Business Improvement District). This is now up and running. You will all be able to enjoy their first event-TASTE OF NAIRN this weekend. Can I urge as many of you as possible to attend the various events? 

Michael Boylan and his fellow directors will deliver. More footfall, more jobs and above all more good publicity for Nairnshire. Already we are seeing very positive support from our excellent business sector and much more joined up thinking.

Again, they are building on our strong local culture. The Book and Art Festival (3000), Jazz Nairn (1000), Cinema Nairn (1500) and Music Nairn (1000) all contribute to the local and tourist enjoyment. (annual figures)

Add to this -a fantastic Community Centre , the sports club , our 2 great golf courses and the integrated community hospital teams then we really do have some very good foundations to build on.

Team Hamish will also deliver their exciting vision for Nairn. They have won National awards and recognition for their plans. But above all you have responded in the most positive way. Most importantly with your support and help whenever needed. Also, your amazing financial support and generosity. We now have clear way forward and with matched funding will deliver some great improvements for next year. Making sure 2020 will be a great time to be in Nairn.

We have delivered the re surfacing of the all ability path allowing access to the east beach. This is the ideal model of how joined up working delivers what we all want.

Looking forward we want to be involved in exciting developments in the 

Town centre including Viewfield and the museum

Harbour

Sandown

There is a lot of interest in The Common Good at present with the Community Empowerment Act.

I would like you all to think about the River Nairn, the Maggot, the Dunbar Golf Cub, Park dean Caravan site, the harbour, the links and Sandown. They are all in our Common Good. They are worth their weight in gold as the essential components of our environment and green sustainable future. They form the basis for our major tourist attractions. That is before we even start to put any financial ticket on them. We owe it to all the previous generations to get this right now and build on this amazing legacy.

Tonight, you will see how far down the road we have come. Yet the future looks better every day.

We have now found the one voice we were asked to deliver. Can you all continue to support and help in any way you can. Nairnshire will be an even better place to live and holiday in.

Dr Alastair L Noble 

Chairman NICE

NICE AGM 2019

NAIRN IMPROVEMENT COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE (“COMPANY”)

REGISTERED NUMBER SC388110

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the sixth ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 7.00 pm on Thursday 11 April 2019 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

Welcome & Introduction.
Apologies for Absence.
Chairman’s Report.
Report on establishment of Business Improvement District.
Report on East Beach Path Restoration.
Report on #TeamHamish and Plans for the Links.
Presentation of Possible Future Projects
Consideration of Accounts for years ended 30 November 2017 and 30 November 2018
Election of Directors
To reappoint Alastair Noble who has retired by rotation as provided by the Articles of the Company
To reappoint Michael Barnett who has retired by rotation as provided by the Articles of the Company
To reappoint Iain Fairweather who has retired by rotation as provided by the Articles of the Company

Invitation to Community Members to Contribute Additional Resource
Any Other Business

Members are encouraged to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf if they are unable to attend in person.  The appointment of a proxy may be done by replying using the form below and should be received by the Company Secretary by 7.00 pm on 9th April 2019.

A copy of the company’s accounts for the years ended 30 November 2017 and 30 November 2018 are available on the company’s website – www.nicenairn.org.uk

DATED this 19th day of March 2019.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD

Michael Barnett
Secretary
Company No:  SC388110
Registered Office: Drumdelnies, by Nairn, IV12 5NT
mbarnett@macline.co.uk

NICE and Nairn Access Panel Celebrate Path Restoration

New path opened 22nd March 2019

A small opening ceremony took place this week to celebrate the restoration of the very well used path from Nairn East Beach car park to Kingsteps.The path, on Common Good land, leads to the edge of the Culbin nature reserve and was made all abilities around fifteen years ago in association with the Nairn Access Panel.  Since then it had become encroached upon and very worn due to its popularity and could no longer provide access for wheelchairs, buggies, or those unable to negotiate the narrow, wet and bumpy conditions. Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise and Nairn Access Panel teamed up to obtain grant funding of £18,500 for the project from the Landfill Communities Fund, RSPB, Nairn Access Panel, and Nairn Ward Discretionary Fund to restore the path, and the work has been done to a high standard by Highland Conservation Ltd.  While following national policy to encourage outdoor access for all with the health benefits it brings, it is really rewarding to see locals and visitors of all abilities enjoying once more the wonderful landscapes, birdlife and photographic opportunities which this route provides.It’s also a very good example of how NICE can work with community groups to provide the structure and support to bring ambitious local projects to fruition. 

NICE and Nairn Access Panel Restore Popular Local Route

East Beach to Kingsteps all abilities path restoration.

Work will be undertaken in February to restore the all abilities path from the East Beach car park to Kingsteps.

The path, on Common Good land, leads to the edge of the Culbin nature reserve and was made all abilities around fifteen years ago in association with the Nairn Access Panel.  Since then it has become encroached upon and very worn due to its popularity.  It can no longer provide access for wheelchairs, buggies, or those unable to negotiate the narrow and bumpy conditions, and water pools in the hollows.

Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise has now worked with the Access Panel to obtain grant funding of £18,500 for the project from the Landfill Communities Fund, RSPB, Nairn Access Panel, and Nairn Ward Discretionary Fund to restore the path, and a very experienced contractor Highland Conservation Ltd. has been appointed. 

For health and safety reasons this will clearly cause some inconvenience to regular users as the construction work is undertaken, but diversions to alternative routes will be clearly marked from the car park when necessary, and there will be no problem with access to the beach or dunes.

While following national policy to encourage outdoor access for all with the health benefits it brings, it will be really rewarding to see locals and visitors of all abilities enjoying once more the wonderful landscapes, birdlife and photographic opportunities which this route provides.

Meeting with new CEO

ON Friday 14th a wide range of community groups and organisations met with Donna Manson, the new CEO of Highland Council. The objective was to outline many of the issues that have been of concern to many in Nairn. The new CEO has expressed a desire to hear from communities and expressed a genuine desire to work with them in ways that may not have happened previously. It was a very positive meeting. You can see a copy of the presentation here.

Regeneration Plan for Nairn Wins National ‘Future Town’ Design Competition

A plan to revitalise the Highland town of Nairn has been voted by the public as winner of the national ‘FutureTown’ Design Competition.

The plan was submitted by #TeamHamish, a community organisation affiliated with Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise (NICE) and which seeks to celebrate the legacy of Hamish Hey, who passed away in February 2017.

Hamish’s parents stated on the application that “the creation of special community spaces, places and facilities for all ages and abilities to enjoy…would be an appropriate ‘Thank You’ to the community of Nairn for their continued support throughout Hamish’s illness”. The aim of the design is also to increase the attractiveness of the town, situated on the north coast east of Inverness, as a tourist destination.

The holistic design for the town includes a focus on both the Links area and the town centre carpark, including the renovation of the Viewfield House and grounds as an alternative attraction during inclement weather. More Here