NICE 2019 Chair Report


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



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




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 –

DATED this 19th day of March 2019.


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

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

#TeamHamish / NICE Launch New Plan for the Links


Over the years many ideas have been offered, but unfortunately these have not been brought to fruition. We would suggest that previous proposals have lacked a holistic, overarching strategic master plan that encompasses all of Nairn’s assets and highlights their potential. Similarly, full collaboration between community bodies, voluntary groups, local businesses and the statutory authorities has been overlooked. This has resulted in there being limited ‘joined-up’ thinking to put Nairn back on the map as a tourist destination and revitalised for the benefit of its Community as a whole.

Download full document here:

BID Project Co-ordinator

Job Advertisement

Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise has been awarded funding by the Scottish Government, The Highland Council, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise to develop a Business Improvement District (“BID”) in Nairnshire.  An individual experienced in developing and providing direct support and/or services to business owners is sought to fill the post of Project Co-ordinator. Continue reading


Reports of the demise of NICE have been greatly exaggerated, but understandable given that NICE has been unable to put much into the public domain. The key difficulty was that identifying the mechanisms for delivery and the fundamental need for collaborative working were not easy to achieve in the prevailing climate. Despite that, we have been exceptionally busy behind the scenes for the last 18 months, and can now report on two significant projects – seeking “BID” status for Nairnshire, and driving the Town Centre Plan forward.

We are delighted that a new Planning Consultation from Scottish Government recognises that “People rightly expect to have a stronger say in the decisions that affect them and their communities”.  Suggested changes to legislation will “Allow communities to prepare local place plans that set out where development requirements, as defined by the broader local development plan, can be met.” These ideas have always been central within the aims and objectives of NICE, whose principle purpose under its Constitution is to drive the regeneration of Nairn.

The Nairn Town Centre Charrette was facilitated by the Highland Council. With input from NICE’s community survey and the input of other business and voluntary groups, an agreed Town Centre Plan was developed and published in September 2015, but there was no strategy for delivering any of the agreed outcomes and for reasons not fully understood, it has received little public attention. Anecdotally there is little public awareness of its existence. For that reason NICE engaged the services of a highly respected consultant, funded by the Development Trust Association of Scotland, to look at the Charrette outcomes and identify options for taking them forward. Our consultant Marion Francis is now in a position to present the results of her work and consultation.

We are pleased to invite our members and the wider community to an Open Afternoon drop-in session on the 3rd March (2.00-5.00pm) at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre so that we can refresh awareness of the Town Centre plans that were proposed by the Charrette process. We have invited the Highland Council planning team who prepared the Charrette report to be present and to chat informally to visitors and take feedback. A more formal evening session (7.30pm) will be given over to Marion Francis’ presentation of the options for the next steps with a timeline and strategy for taking forward the Town Centre Plan – the core mission of NICE. As the commentary in the Town Centre Plan itself states, it is up to the community to work with the statutory authorities to drive the project forward.

One reason for the difficulty we faced was the fact that the strands connecting various community groups and initiatives were complex, and there are many community groups in Nairnshire. But we sensed that the climate had changed 18 months ago when the director of Scottish Government’s Business Improvement District (“BID”) department approached NICE with the proposition that Nairnshire should seek BID status. Alongside this, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (“HIE”) had also stated that “Nairn must speak with one voice”. We thought long and hard about ways to tackle the problems, and drew comfort from the fact that HIE are supportive of a BID for Nairnshire. The energy and commitment recently put into proposals for a new Lido/Thermal Spa, has resulted in HIE funding a feasibility study to determine if it might be a key driver for the local economy. There is good evidence that a well-researched idea with suitable financial support will succeed and give the wider community confidence in itself.  Indeed, the recently opened Sun Dancer Restaurant is very popular, and the coffee & wine bar on the Brae has a distinctive offering.

NICE invited Michael Boylan, Chair of the Association of Nairn Businesses, and Michael Green, Elected Highland Councillor, to join a Steering Group which has now secured funding of up to £50,000 to take the proposal to ballot using professional paid staff to do the work. A separate Press Release has just been issued about the BID, identifying the vital roles of The Highland Council and HIE in supporting the Government BID policy.

We believe the opportunity to acquire BID status for Nairnshire is a real game-changer for our community. The fact that funding for the preparatory work has been secured confirms the outside perception at Government level that Nairnshire is a “sleeping giant” – a seaside tourist destination with great unrealised potential and worth investment. NICE’s role on the BID Steering Group is to act as enabler, and by virtue of its charitable and corporate status to be the funding conduit for the work.  We believe that the BID project will underpin further work on the Town Centre Plan, and give potential funders the confidence that Nairn does on this occasion mean business.

The full Nairn Town Centre Plan report can be accessed from the Highland Council’s website and also here – Download the full document here.

Alastair Noble – Chair NICE
Mike Barnett – Secretary NICE