Thursday, April 23, 2009

Visit Nairn flash mob for Danny Alexander?

Visit Nairn members and supporters are being urged to lobby Danny Alexander this Friday at his surgery in the Community Centre. Following on the back of the successful AGM of the organisation there is now an initiative to get something done about the unsightly apperance of the former Regal and other buildings in the town centre. The e-mail states:
'The burning issue at many discussions, even among local residents is the tarnished and depressing image that first confronts everyone who comes to Nairn - that of the Regal bar, cinema, petrol station and bus garage. We know that many tourists just keep driving. We all love it here but first impressions count and these buildings send out the wrong signals. All the clever marketing in the world can't compete with the very visible image that greets every visitor.

So is it time for action? Danny Alexander MP has a surgery at the Community Centre at 5.30 on Friday. It only takes a couple of us to go and see him but if we all turned up in the foyer to show support for the issue perhaps he might be persuaded to find a way of doing something. We have got to deal with this blight and thus change the perception of a run-down Highland town. '

Meanwhile Brian was at the VisitNairn.com A.G.M. and debates what could be done on myNairn. Do we need to get more seaside like or is that just a sure fire way or ruining what Nairn is all about? Could we have more tourist attractions without turning the town into a vision of mass culture touristy hell? Nothing wrong with initiatives to encourage more visitors to Nairn but the Gurnmeister argues that we have to be very careful otherwise we will scare regulars away and ruin the place for ourselves too. The caravan site was very busy over Easter, the holidaymakers there chose Nairn not Blackpool. Time to 'Gae canny'?


12 comments:

growtosow said...

hear hear on that one about time something was about this mess? not much of a welcome to our town. we should have town to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Anything would be better than the current abandoned buildings that greet you as you travel along the A96 through Nairn. Traffic congestion generally means that you can get a long hard stare at them as well. As Pookie said in another post, we just need to import the tumbleweed to complete the image of a Wild West town.
I’m not sure as to what Danny can do, employ the demolition team at the old police station to keep moving along the A96 and then plant some trees whilst we once again debate what Nairn wants, or at night project majestic scenes onto the empty buildings?

With regard to Brian's vision over on mynairn of Moray Firth towns becoming Scarborough like.
Blackpool used to be 'the' holiday destination for Nairnites as well as many others. A week of the mighty Wurlitzer, ice cream, doughnuts, arcades, and thousands of people, a good holiday but Nairn was appreciated once home.
We have our mobile Blackpool once a year with the showies, would we really want that all year round? Nairn, the new Blackpool rather than Brighton of the North?
Victorian seaside towns have been in demise for many years, so do we model a new Nairn based on a crumbling northern English seaside town?

Spelding said...

Down on the beach yesterday we met 2 visitors who were beaming from ear to ear. Their exact words were, "This is paradise, it's great". Oh, to see ourselves as others see us.
Why would we want to set ourselves up as something else. Let's make the most of the natural surroundings we have (well, the one's we've got left. People come here for all sorts of different reasons, many holidaymakers use Nairn as a base to stay in and travel for day's out to Skye or up North.
It should be remembered that some of us live here 12 months a year. Can you imagine what would happen to the place if we had arcades, etc etc.
What's next on the agenda for the change merchants? Turn the Links and the West Beach into some theme park complete with bright lights?
Why not cheer the empty buildings up with more of the boards like the ones they have on the Regal (who did these anyway?)

Anonymous said...

Beware of those that want too much change. Tourism is not the be all and end all we need other jobs too. Don't ruin Nairn for the sake of the tourist industry!!!

Pookie Candelabra said...

Go along to senator, member, tool, or whatever, Daniel Alexander's surgery (so is Danny actually a real surgeon now too? Wow!! How multi-skilled is that!! Awesome! Brain or heart? How impressive! What a guy!), But Bware! Cos yez are all just 'pissing in the wind', to coin a phrase. Fact is, it's as good as a 'done deal' that Nairn will become a wild west 'Theme Park'. Straight up! Ask him and he will only deny it. Take a photo of him as he lies! I think it could work. Don't be glum, get yer stetsons out and hope for the bloody best. I am up for it and quite happy to be the whorehouse madam, unless of course ayone else thinks they may be better qualified for the post? If that don't get the punters flooding in, then what will? Bums on seats baby! PooksXX

Iain said...

My! Some people's minds have gone into overdrive and ended up with some rather fanciful ideas about what's being proposed. But wouldn't it be good to have a solution to the blight of boarded-up buildings that give the impression of a tired and run-down Highland town? Thousands of people a week drive past them and it's their first impression of Nairn. We know it's not the whole story but for many, it's reason enough to stay on the road. I can't imagine anyone is seriously suggesting we retain these as a features within our Highland "paradise". No one I know is seriously proposing a theme park with bright lights or a northern style Blackpool. Daft idea!
So back to reality. Around 14 people were warmly received by Danny Alexander who shares our concerns over the image presented by boarded-up buildings. He has promised to meet with us within the next 2-3 weeks for more lengthy discussions. Will he be able to do anything? Watch this space!

Pookie Candelabra said...

Blackpool?!! Oh no, nothing so cheap and nasty. We are talking genuine Wild West (of America), with every conceiveable add-on available. We will be printing money, I tell you. I for one, am behind this scheme. We can turn the polis station into a 'jailhouse' and run people out of town, now and then, as the mood dictates. We can demand that they leave 'their weapons' on the outskirts of town. Come on, don't tell me it doesn't sound attractive...? Oh, and before I forget - Dr Lecter wants me to ask if Mr Alexander is free for dinner one night? He will pay...heh heh...

Anonymous said...

Apparently, local boy, Rob Ellen, had something to do with the boards at the Regal. I also think they look great, very artistic and colourful. Maybe someone could run some sort of competition to create some more? A sort of street art. It would look better than empty windows. Make a feature and run tours, an open air gallery?

Anonymous said...

I think your going to need bigger seats Pookey.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how we ever survived before ( something here deleted by the Gurnmeister :-) .?Some of us are quite happy,thank you.

Graisg said...

Gurnites might like to know that NairnBairn has entered the debate over at MyNairn.

nairnbairn said...

I'm flattered by the Gurn's name-check and link to my comments over on the MyNairn blog. So in the interests of democracy, fair play and equality, I feel I ought to throw a pebble into the Gurn's pond too...

Two observations, I think. One is about change. Spelding and a couple of the Anonymous commentators above need to understand that those who are actively looking at what can be done on the tourism front are not necessarily seeking to change Nairn into something, or somewhere else. The aim has to be rather to preserve, protect and promote the existing good features of Nairn; and (as Iain has observed above) to try and do something positive and constructive about the currently blighted parts of the town.

The second point is about planning. The status quo is not an option. The Inverness-driven "growth" agenda is generating huge pressure to build - houses, flats, business parks... and more. The challenge is how to manage this to ensure that any development in Nairn delivers the right results. The harbour redevelopment is a classic example not just of a missed opportunity, but of a planning failure. Calling for affordable housing and more jobs misses the point. It is clear from recent and proposed developments (Bridgemill, Sandown, and others) that the default approach, which yields most profit, is cheap, high-density housing, with perhaps a bit of business space and a token gesture to the community. Such proposals won't enhance Nairn's appeal either to residents or visitors.

If the plannners give priority to tourism then any resulting developments are less likely to be dismal eyesores. And increasing the flow of visitors is more likely to stimulate local commerce, and increase spending on local goods and services, than the construction of yet more unattractive 'affordable' housing and under-occupied business parks.

Nairn may have an extensive beach of lovely sand: but this does not mean that its residents should be adopting the ostrich position.