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LUCY HARDING: The big question is, What would Nairn look like if Nairn Connects BID didn’t exist?

By Lucy Harding

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Lucy Harding.
Lucy Harding.

Happy New Year! And what a year lies ahead with Nairn BID now heading towards the end of its current five-year term.

The team are planning the next few months to ensure the renewal ballot is a success and for this column I’m not going to beat around the bush. I am simply going to list all of the tremendous things BID has accomplished over the last five years.

Here’s what has been put in place, that would otherwise possibly have fallen by the wayside if Nairn BID did not exist.

We have secured significant external funding to allow us to put various projects into place; we have created comprehensive tourism listings on a rebranded Visit Nairn website including attracting a travel writer to Nairn in 2019 (we are liaising with other bloggers and influencers for 2023).

We are continually working with VisitScotland and other national and regional agencies to raise the profile of Nairn as a destination, and we’ve created summer and winter films used on Sky TV and in VisitScotland I-Centres.

As well as those initiatives, we successfully carried out the following: placement of new picnic benches around the town, installation of new notice boards, maps, hanging baskets and planters.

We have a seagull control and street cleaning programme, and have distributed over £16,000 in paint grants to local businesses to spruce up their shop fronts.

We have brought window vinyls and public art to the High Street and held regular street markets to increase footfall.

We also have a hugely successful events calendar which includes the Christmas Lights Switch On (Inverness did not have one last year – just saying it); Wheels of Nairn, a classic and modern vehicle show; and Taste of Nairn which focuses on the region’s food and drink offering. All of these events are already in planning for 2023.

We also supported our members through the Covid pandemic and have offered reductions on the levy over the last three years.

It’s an exhaustive list and all I ask is: “What would Nairn look like if Nairn Connects BID did not exist?”

Lucy Harding is manager of Nairn BID.

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