Friday, January 06, 2012

Harbour street mini-carbuncle?

One of the regular Gurnites complained to us recently about the state of the former Arcade near the top of Harbour Street. It has actually improved recently. Several of the large windows at the side had been smashed but now they have been boarded up - still presenting a bit of a derelict look however - any chance of a coat of paint à la Regal? Maybe some Nairn bairns could create some colourful designs for the boards as a wee project?


growtosow said...

some commpetition for the town center here perhaps the NICE GROUP would like to take it on as well?

the wee county said...

Please don't encourage the bairns to wee on it!

Anonymous said...

Its currently on the market for £130,000 with Outline Planning Permision and Conservation Area Consent exists for the erection of five two bedroom apartments

Graisg said...

Thanks anon. Here's the link to the sale page

Jim said...

This was a thriving amusement arcade until three or four years ago, the only one in town, in a good position, i.e. on the walking route fron Lochloy caravan park to the town centre.

I was told that in recent times the under-18s used it as a social club in the evenings. It was a place to meet their mates, play on the slots, buy a soft drink. Not a hotbed of trouble.

What killed it, they said, was the smoking ban. The young folk stopped going there when they couldn't light a cigarette in the place.

The building has been on the market for a year or so, initially as a going concern. But no smoking means no business in that trade. Pubs find the same thing, so they close too.

I don't smoke personally, but am tolerant of those who do. I'm sure politicians who voted for a smoking ban in such places didn't think through the likely effects of this legislation, which has led to many businesses closing.

Anonymous said...

Under 18's shouldn't have been smoking anyway.

non smoking gun said...

Are we really lamenting the passing of a smoke filled room with gambling machines as a place for our young people to gather?

The Youth Cafe yes, but not an amusement arcade, and who in their right minds would support business interests over and above those of health, unless of course you are a member of UKIP!

Jim said...

Dear 'non-smoking gun'

OK, I didn't suggest that visiting an amusement arcade (whether or not smoke tainted) was a fun-filled evening. I simply tell it as it looks to me.

That business closed due to the smoking ban. A couple of part-time workers lost their jobs. How many other pubs and clubs have seen a dramatic fall it their levels of takings, aand how many jobs lost here and in Scotland, to the do-gooders?

The cry 'It's for their own good' is often heard. Maybe true, but pretty tactless to say to the unemployed ex-barworker.

The sale of tobacco is still legal in this country. Governments are pleased to tax it at a high rate.

When tobacco is banned completely here, there will probably be mass emigration. Or civil insurrection, of course?

Please clarify why UKIP members put business before health? I haven't heard that one before.

non smoking gurn said...


I have no wish to resurrect arguments for and against smoking in public places, the ban is here and thanks to that many folks health is better.

100,000 people a year die from smoking related illness. Some are those part time bar workers you mention who may not have smoked themselves but were subject to the effects of others people's smoke might be amongst the 100,000. The tax collected from tobacco does not cover the health care and loss of earning incurred by those who smoke

Many people do not have the money to spend in bars anymore, especially with the huge difference in bar and supermarket prices of alcohol, this might well be the reason many are finding it hard to make a go of it

I doubt you'll like it but I can see a point in the future when the sales of alcohol are severely curbed such is the effects on health

As for UKIP, I reckon they're your party Jim, they want to bring back smoking in public places.

Jim said...

Dear non-smoking gun

Before you make assumptions, I don't smoke by personal choice. I don't advocate smoking, I simply point out that unemployment as a result of smoking bans is not universally popular.

I've just looked at the UKIP website. What they say is:

'End the ban on smoking in allocated rooms in public houses, clubs and hotels'.

In other words give customers a choice.

Not quite the same thing as 'bring back smoking in public places', is it?

They also want to end tuition fees, re=establish student grants, bring in the right to have a public referendum on major issues and reduce government deficits.

Well, I'm not a UKIP voter, but any party that wants to spend carefully has to have a point, I would suggest.

Let's have a look at the other four national parties next.

Anonymous said...

The smoking ban came into place in 2006. To keep on blaming the ban for the demise of businesses is wearing a bit thin, a bit like the party in power blaming the previous party for all the problems. After a certain point in time blame has to found somewhere else.

I think it's more likely that the amusement arcade, like many other things, had had its day, it was a relic from the past being used by a few kids who probably weren't spending enough to cover overheads never mind make a profit. A fate which, looking at many of the pubs and how empty they seem to be for most of the week, could happen to them.

non-fumeur said...

Although much of the comment has gone off-piste into a discussion of the merits of the smoking ban, there is another point to consider.

Anon@12.41am refers to planning consent for five apartments.

So this is another example of a pattern that is becoming obvious throughout Nairn - and maybe elsewhere: the closure/demolition of shops, businesses and services, and their replacement by housing.

It is these public places, businesses and facilities that give a community its "life". Yet wherever you look in Nairn (the former Ashers bakery, the Macrae & Dick Garage, the harbourside, the Highland Hotel, the Maggot garage, and soon perhaps the bus station) shops and other communal premises are being replaced by blocks of flats. This arcade is just the latest in a very long list.

This trend could eventually see Nairn lose its "character" and become little more than a collection of housing estates. That won't offer much to attract tourists and visitors, or to serve the residents. Town regeneration needs more than just lots of apartments.

Is this something people should worry about?

the future is said...

It is true that some commercial buildings are being knocked down and turned into residential dwellings in Nairn, however in common with many other towns we are seeing commercial development outwith the town. We have the Balmakeith estate and Sainsbury's opposite. Does this effect the town's character, yes it does. Small independent businesses and shops are closing on many High Streets, it's the way of the world with certain companies becoming larger.
Scotland though does have many SME and I would hope that they both survive and thrive, but retail has changed in so many ways in recent years I doubt that will be any real call for extra shop units and I suspect we will see their number shrink even in Nairn
Linked to this has to be the money that an investor can make if planning permission is given to change a commercial area into housing, much greater than any rent that could be gleaned by having a business there