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.

AGM / EGM Notice



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the adjourned fifth ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 8.00 pm on Thursday 28 September 2017 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

1. To receive and consider the accounts of the Company for the years ended 30 November 2015 and 30 November 2016.

2. Election of directors.  New directors: Susan Hey; Samuel Hey; Steve Westbrook; Mandy Lawson.  Re-appointment of Alastair Noble; Michael Barnett. Continue reading

Team Hamish

Few in the community of Nairn can be unaware of the story of Hamish Hey, taken from his family and a supportive community much too early in his young life.

His family say: “Throughout Hamish’s illness, we have been truly overwhelmed by the love and support that we have received from so many over the years, particularly from the Community of Nairn. We now feel that it is time to repay our town. Our plan is to develop a special family area for all ages and abilities to enjoy. In doing this we will radiate the love we have for Hamish. It will be a place for all to experience. This will ensure that Hamish’s memory lives on for years to come.”

In order to bring this vision to reality, Hamish’s parents, Sam and Susan, have joined the Board of NICE as Director’s. This relationship provides an organisational and legal structure, charitable status – and a bank account, that allows Team Hamish to function and develop its vision. We look forward to working with them.

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2017 Chair Report

Chair’s Report, Alastair Noble.
I would like to start off by quoting Marion Francis the outside management consultant who was engaged using DTAS investment to take the town centre charrette forward.

“I have worked in lots of communities in the central belt we would give our eye teeth at the turn out you have here and the energy, enthusiasm, engagement and support. You are in such a strong position. The whole political tenor of the moment is to transfer money to be invested in communities. That’s exactly what the BID is about.” Continue reading

Tribute to Graham Kerr

We were all saddened to learn of the recent death of Graham Kerr. Graham was born and bred in Nairn. He cared passionately about his home town and on retirement devoted much of his time to making Nairn a better place for everyone – visitors and locals alike. He was determined to make the most of Nairn’s assets.

Graham became a director Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise (NICE) in November 2011 and brought considerable professional and human qualities to NICE’s activities. His engineering background meant that he had a very pragmatic approach to all developments. He kept others grounded – it might have sounded like a good idea but would it work in practice – he forensically questioned many aspects of the town centre development; traffic management; drainage systems; housing development.

Graham was known for his dogged persistence. He held people and agencies to account but always in a polite way. His concern was for his community, he was not concerned with personal status.

In his younger day Graham kept a recreational boat in the harbour. In 2015 when one of the local councillors asked NICE to undertake a study of the harbour and seafront area Graham leapt at the chance to lead the project. He had an overall vision of how to improve Nairn and saw the harbour as an important local,and tourist focus, about much more than just boats. One of his ambitions was to help establish a marine life educational centre.

Over many months Graham met a whole range of people with an interest in the harbour and seafront. Their concerns and aspirations were noted and now form the basis of a detailed report

A typical request from Graham  might say “ if we can get a simple graphic to show the speed of the movement of the sand bar this must be a very good justification for positive action being taken to preserve the future of the harbour.” He was similarly concerned about coastal protection and flood risk and management.

Graham’s contribution to NICE will be sadly missed by all his fellow directors as will his selfless desire to help the community and his home town of Nairn.

Sheena Munro

Business Improvement District Proposals

This is a discussion paper that looks to the possible development of a Nairnshire BID. It can only proceed with the agreement and participation of local businesses. It may take 15 months to define the terms of the BID and engage in consultation.


Business Improvement District Proposals

Nairnshire is a compact area covering 200 square miles with a population of 14,500 people. Within the county there is a wealth of natural assets which must be nurtured and developed in a strategic way. There is a proud tradition of civic involvement. This paper looks at Nairnshire in the round emphasising the interconnectedness of its major assets and highlighting the key issues that need to be addressed. Continue reading

NICE Annual General Meeting 2016


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the fourth ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 8.00 pm on Tuesday 26 January 2016 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

  1. Welcome & Introduction.
  2. Apologies for Absence.
  3. Secretary’s Report.
  4. Consideration of Accounts for year ended 30 November 2014
  5. Chairman’s Report.
  6. Report on and discussion of working in partnership with Highland Council and the Association of Nairn Businesses in relation to the Town Centre.
  7. Report on working with the Men’s Shed and other initiatives.
  8. Discussion on the future of the King Street Building (the “Old Social Work Building”) following the unsuccessful application for a TCCF grant.
  9. Board’s report on company governance and director appointments.
  10. Election of Directors (Campbell Mair, Rosemary Young, Sheena Munro, John Hart & Magnus Swanson will be retiring; Magnus Swanson, Alastair Noble, Michael Barnett, Matthew Hilton, Sheena Munro, Graham Kerr, John Hart and Iain Fairweather  will be offering themselves for re-election.
  11. 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 should be made using this form – AGM PROXY2016 and should be received by the Company Secretary by 8.00 pm on 24 January 2016 or delivered c/o the Community & Arts Centre.

A copy of the company’s accounts for the year ended 30 November 2014 is available here – NICE ACCOUNTS 2013 14

DATED this 9th day of January 2016.


Michael Barnett

Company No:  SC388110
Registered Office: Drumdelnies, by Nairn, IV12 5NT

Strategy Paper for River Nairn and Harbour

Following the meeting in the sailing club and other discussions, the importance to Nairnshire of its river, the harbour and beaches is more fully understood and is in need of thoughtful actions.

If we consider the area as a T with the river as the leg and the beaches as the cross we can start to understand how closely they are inter twinned. The beaches are supporting the Parkdean Caravan site, the 2 golf courses with walks to Culbin forest to the east and Fort George to the west. All are essential components of our tourist industry. It is also some of the best wetland /bird watching areas in Britain if not in all Europe

If we start with the River Nairn, it is virtually unspoiled by development on its banks. The trees and flood plain are like a Canadian wilderness. We must protect this wonderful ecology and quietness.

The gravel extraction for McDermott’s and some of the river stone placements have not helped.

Action points

No more gravel extraction from river bed.

Careful thought and restrictions on more pool engineering with SNH and SEPA input as well as Fisheries Board.

Walking path to Firhall with new Firhall Bridge.

Flood risk alleviation by extracting gravel at mouth of river /harbour basin

No extra pollution/storm water to be directed into River Nairn from future developments.



Massive tourist and leisure potential.

Sailing club, Kayak club both see great benefits from development of harbour area.

Harbour in urgent need of repair /rebuild.

If nothing is done it will disappear.

Action points

New harbour design with deep water outer harbour to allow for bigger marina/touring Scandinavian / German boats.

Extended east harbour wall to stop sand build up

Dredging of gravel sand at river’s mouth

Facility for sailing club/kayak club in new harbour design

Tourist attraction/restaurant/bar


Flooding of Fishertown

Action points

Urgent action is needed to protect Fishertown conservation site from River and sea flooding



Action points

Sewage flooding in Fishertown /urgent action required

Sewage work malfunction/risk of bacterial pollution to bathing water quality

Smell risk to both caravan site and Nairn Dunbar golf club

New pipes to take sewage to sewage works

Other suggestions

Maggot boating pond/Kayak /sailing beginner’s training

Links potential/parking/transport to and from town centre

Putting green/children’s play area

Route from town centre to harbour along links and back up through Viewfield to town centre


HIE/Coastal/Fishing /Harbour money to buy capacity to get this done.

Professional engineering and architect input.

Dr Alastair L Noble

Chairman NICE