Sunday, June 07, 2020

Maybole's 7.5 million funding success highlights delay in Nairn regeneration?

The Ayrshire Daily News site states:

"Great news for the historic market town of Maybole in Ayrshire, as the Maybole Regeneration Project confirms it has secured £7.5 million in funding and this week (4th June 2020) launches a dedicated website," 

The Ayrshire town has a population about half the size of Nairn, is near a bigger neighbour (Ayr) and is about to be bypassed. There are parallels but when it comes to moving forward it looks like they are going to walk the walk after the talk - here in Nairn the talk has all been collected and put in reports lying on the shelf - when will we too get a funding boost of a few million to regenerate the town?  The town centre report of 4-5 years ago was adopted by Highland Council so it is more than oven ready to go to say the least. 

And regardless of what you think of the proposals for the King Street buildings (see yesterday's article) it was clearly stated in the Town Centre plan that they should be preserved.  Anyway back to the success of Maybole.

"Community involvement is key to the success of any regeneration project and Mark Fletcher, Chair of the Maybole Community Council, added, “A project like this takes a whole community to implement. Equally, a revitalised town centre will benefit all, especially when the Bypass opens and takes lorry traffic away from our historic streets."

The Regeneration Project website is here with details of all the projects and initiatives that will hopefully become reality for the small Ayrshire community.  

The CC Chair, Mark Fletcher is quoted again on the Project Scotland site:

"The recent lockdown has demonstrated the importance of the ‘shop local’ message and provided both reason and opportunity to walk and cycle. I hope this will have provided a taste of what a regenerated town centre can mean to Maybole, as we reclaim the High Street for people, not traffic.”

Project Scotland also state:

"Duncan Clelland, project lead for the Maybole Regeneration Project commented, “I want to pay tribute to those with the original vision for Maybole; the Community Council and activists who fought hard to establish their case. Now with South Ayrshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund fully behind the plans, the project is moving on to an exciting phase where we can jointly make a real difference to the look and feel of the town.”

In Nairn the Community Councils and other activists have been shouting for years for a better deal for Nairn. We can only look to Maybole with envy and ask why similar funding hasn't reached Nairn yet. Will the powers that be now give Nairn it's fair share of the funding pots?

Why, why, why have things been so slow for us - Nairn wants action - why are the powers that be not coming up with a funding package for us?


Nairn Retiree said...

What a great question!
Here is the answer:- South Ayrshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund fully behind the plans.

When has The Highland Council EVER been fully behind anything good happening in Nairn?
For "City and Region Deal" read "Inverness".

Furthermore I would go as far as to say that Maybole Community Council do not have anyone undermining their efforts that both the Nairn CCs do. Where does Maybole CC meet: Council Chambers, Maybole Town Hall, 40 High Street, Maybole KA19 7BZ. The Highland Council rejected requests for the CCs to meet in the Court House which is Nairns equivalent. Maybole CC Council contact is the 'Area Community Learning and Development Officer'. That says loads.

Its time the Nairn Councillors worked for the people of Nairn!

Even the admirable 'Team Hamish' project, supported so well by the People of Nairn and beyond, met resistance. I refer to the so-called Consultations last summer on the Links after the People had given their approval through the 'Collection Boxes'.

The next few years will be hard for all areas not just Nairn but watch the funds getting syphoned off to Inverness.

Nairn should not just be a place for The Highland Council to fulfill their Housing provision targets, it has to be a vibrant, satisfying place to live and visit. If anyone cannot support the Town or the Community Councils unequivocally then it is time they stepped down.

Sheena Baker said...

Well your last para says it all - why indeed? It is not through lack of effort from all the Community Groups over many years supporting the various Charrettes and the Nairn Town Centre plan initiated and adopted by Highland Council in 2015/2016.

For those that don't know the history, the last Charrette in 2014 was funded by Scottish Government and was extremely well supported by the town's folks. They proffered their thoughts and all attending the charrette moulded it into a scenario that would give us a town centre fit for purpose in the years to come. Highland Council topped n tailed it and then the plan was adopted by them to form what should be the action plan, if not the blueprint, for regenerating the town centre and surrounds.

With the severe damage Covid 19 is inflicting to businesses and jobs of all types on this town, now more than ever is when Highland Council and our Elected Members need to work with the various towns groups to ensure there is a future for Nairn which enables and includes good employment and encourages tourism.

What is interesting and very clear from the Maybole scenario is that the Elected Members and Ayrshire Council are all working with the community as a TEAM to get the project conceived, funded and now ready to start.

I can only dream !

We have projects that with a combined effort could be shovel ready and with the same combined effort funding could be obtained to make it happen. Maybole managed it why oh why should the same not happen to Nairn.

The will is there from the private sector in the shape of the BID, NICE, both community Councils as well as the Association of Nairn Businesses and Visit Nairn. Now all we need is a firm commitment from Highland Council from the top down and all our Elected Members to emulate the success of Maybole. HC can open doors to suitable funding even if the application has to come from the community.

So there's the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Sainsburys donated a lot of money to tidy up the high st,not a lot seems to have been done by the looks of it. also,what happened to the proposed digital clock that was supposed to be sited in castle square?has that money for said project disappeared?or lying dormant?

Anonymous said...

If a "team" is to take something similar to Maybole forward in Nairn, then they need every bit of support they can muster. Highly unlikely though that the Elected Members will comply with any suggestion of "Community Planning". Why would Nairn deserve anything, a suburb of Inverness? How dare we even imagine such a prospect.