Gurnites might have seen the recent front page spread in the Nairnshire detailing Iain Bruce's vision for a tourism game-changing facility in Nairn.
The full document in which Iain outlines how we could potentially transform Nairn as a holiday destination is 8 pages long and is available here.
Make yourself a cup of tea or pour a dram and give it a read. Is this the way we should go to transform the tourist industry in Nairn or at least to transform the debate in the first instance? The first few paragraphs below to perhaps hook a few more casual readers in for a browse. We would be delighted to hear the thoughts of Gurnshire on Iain's work so far.
"This paper has evolved from a re-reading of Iain Fairweather's seminal piece Nairn 2020 : Brigadoon or a Jewel in the Scottish Crown, the subsequent Nairn Partnership's draft document “NAIRN REVISITED”: A Tourism Strategy (fourth draft March 2009) and the apparent absence of progress in the intervening period.
The paper takes as its starting point the Partnership's tenet that:
"tourism is, and has to remain, central to the economy and prosperity of Nairn. It follows that all development planning for Nairn must be compatible with, and contribute to, this tourism-promotion objective: to enhance and improve the town of Nairn as an urban centre which is attractive to visitors as well as residents, which has the capacity – in terms of infrastructure – to meet their expectations,
which offers the prospect of employment and (retail) business, and which can deliver appropriate facilities and services."
In developing the strategy, the Partnership undertook a comprehensive and necessary analysis of the issues, however this paper argues for a giant leap in both imagination and ambition to bring about a solution that fulfils the aspirations of both the Fairweather paper and subsequent document whilst simultaneously providing the context in which to refine the 'road map' set out
in March 2009.
The proposal in nothing less than the Grigor Lido@Nairn ©. The Thermae Spa in Bath is the only hot mineral spring spa in the UK, and is the unashamed paradigm for this vision of the future of Nairn's tourist industry. Reopened in 2006 following a tortuous and protracted redevelopment, the facilities are owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council and operated by the Thermae Development Company and have proved a considerable success despite problems during the development programme. In the absence of a local source of mineral rich hot springs however, the Nairn vision is to combine the spa concept with the well established curative effects of seawater, albeit of variable temperatures in different pools.
The Grigor Lido@Nairn© is a combination of spa baths and seawater baths in a derivative on the Stonehaven model but combining a free flowing unheated seawater lagoon at the base with uncovered sea water pools of varying temps at intermediate levels. The principal floor would house the steam rooms each infused with aromatic essence as at the Thermae Spa. In addition the Lido would offer, the unique Grigor experience© which would replicate sea air charged with healthy negative ions which accelerate the body's ability to absorb oxygen and also balance levels of seratonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. And to provide a comparative experience, the steam rooms would be augmented with a suite of Turkish baths, Russian banya and Finnish sauna."