Monday, February 08, 2021

High Street Takeover - fingers crossed for Nairn Festival's ambition?

This sounds like fun, here's hoping we are at the stage where this can happen in September:

"Imagine Nairn High Street transformed.

Live music, street art, pop-up exhibitions, immersive theatre, dance performances and spoken word.

All taking place on one day - Saturday 4 September - and all unified by one pressing concern: the environment.

Across the UK, community-led creative projects are helping to revitalise high streets and give them a new sense of purpose.

Nairn High Street has a long and proud history of serving the local community - a tradition it still upholds today.

But in recent years, changing shopping habits, economic pressures and now Covid-19 have all had a significant impact on our high streets. Nairn is no exception.

We want to support Nairn’s local businesses through finding creative and innovative ways to bring people back to the high street.

We want to celebrate Nairn’s history as a thriving fishing port and market town, while looking towards a positive future.

We want to take the art out of the gallery and out to the community. " More here.

This observer thinks back to the buzz around town when Symon MacIntyre and colleagues staged "The Big Shop" in 1999 which had a series of plays in empty shop mini-venues. And this millennium we had Tilda's Cinema of Dreams too which brought a lot of activity to the town centre.

Nairn High Street certainly has had a few knocks in recent years but we still have quite a lot really compared with towns of a similar size and who knows what for the bigger shopping centres too - can you really imagine Eastgate2 without Debenhams? The world is changing exponentially before our eyes with Covid giving extra super-fast impetus to changing that were already materialising.

Our town centre in the future will be what we make of it folks, be that for retail or whatever. Perhaps the downfall of the major retailers elsewhere will even benefit us here with people looking for meaningful things to do after they have done their online shopping. If we want the town centre to be lively then we have to think out of the box and start creating events - well done the Festival team for this initiative.

Anyone up for a festival fringe Loony Green apple enthusiast store on the days mentioned? Apple trees are good for you and fun to hang out with - we should listen to them more often. Maybe we could even go out and plant one or two? If anyone has a suitable spot? And then there's the Gàidhlig, anyone up for drinking coffee, eating cake and learning and speaking Gaelic for a day or two in September - we can only dream that such things will be possible by then again of course.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Sandown fields were able to attract a top price from a worthy developer, then the proceeds could be invested and the returns used to buy and subsidise shops on the High Street for local farmers and craft producers to sell their wares?

Steve said...

Anonymous @ 1:35 PM

I am sorry to disappoint you, but if the land at Sandown is sold, there will be nothing coming to Nairn in the way of money.
The developer contributions will take most of it and the Highland Council will use the rest to pay for things they are obliged to pay for.

Anonymous said...

Reassuring to know that you know what nobody else knows ........
I don't know ....... but I could write that I'm sorry to disappoint you but a manny told me that we would all be rich beyond imagination if we planted magic beans ....
What is your source please?
If you are correct then the Trustees will never sell anyway.