Quite a lot of vintage stuff at the NICE AGM last night in the Community Centre - much of it straght from the heart from Alistair Noble. Also present was, regular attendee of Commuity Council meetings and any gathering where community concerns are aired, Murd Dunbar. Murd is another man who speaks from the heart when it comes to Nairn issues and the future of our town, he might not be as articulate as some of them but he is effective in getting his point across. Here's what he had to say last night (Weds) when the NICE folk discussed the future of the old Social Work Building:
“Although I’m not against what NICE is trying to do, I agree with a lot of your programme – but I do have objections to (as I was told last time it was only speculation) a bistro going in there, a café going in there. We’ve a café next door trying to make a living. We’ve a man opening a bistro up at the Regal. You’re going to stick it in there and then say it is four the good of Nairn. What about the other businesses. They’ve got to make a living and they are struggling at the moment […]. Fair enough do what you like with the building but no café.”
A little later Campbell Mair came back for NICE with a response to Murd:
"I think that point Murd is making is actually very important. If and when we get to the stage of having a good problem of determining which parts of the building are going to be used for which purpose by what people. Actually you’re right Murd, it’s going to be quite difficult to decide what – who is going to decide who’s going in - how we are going to decide that (whoever we is) – on what basis? There would need to be commercial realities to be taken into account. You are absolutely right, there would be sensitive areas. Having said that these would be good problems to have because it would mean that we have, in partnership with the Highland Council, taken ownership of the building […] We need to watch and make sure that whatever we are going to do in there (whoever we is) on a commercial sense, that it is actually handled quite sensitively. Particularly given NICE’s structure as a charity for the good of Nairn."
"I think any business that goes in there would be on the basis of a business plan that would work. It wouldn’t be because we put them in there. So if the businesses that come would have to justify why they should be there […] There might be a small bistro or restaurant already on the High Street that would see that as a great opportunity to develop their own business and move. Because that would be a prime site if they ran it as a café/bistro. So it’s not a case of putting some else out of business or putting pressure on them, it could just open new doors for them."