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Nairn bids farewell to man who did much to put town on map

By Donald Wilson

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Iain and Jane Fairweather are presented flowers and Scottish stoneware by VisitNairn vice-chairman Morag Holding.
Iain and Jane Fairweather are presented flowers and Scottish stoneware by VisitNairn vice-chairman Morag Holding.

THE founder of a website and association which has been promoting tourism in Nairn for nearly two decades was the special guest at a lunch to mark his contribution to the industry.

Iain Fairweather and wife Jane are preparing to retire and leave Nairn to be nearer family in England having moved to Nairn 20 years after visiting and falling in love with the town.

They bought a former grocer’s shop next to the Little Theatre in the heart of Nairn’s Fishertown which they converted into their home and a B&B and Mr Fairweather’s love for his adoptive town and desire to see it flourish led him to setting up his own VisitNairn.com website to promote the area to tourists.

Morag Holding of the Havelock Hotel, which hosted the recent thank you lunch, said Iain had continually developed the site which had become an invaluable promotional tool.

“Today, it is undoubtedly the number one source of information about accommodation, facilities and activities in the area,” she said.

“But Iain wanted more than a successful website. He recognised that for local tourism to succeed, it was important to bring people together to focus attention on Nairn and its specific needs. This led to the formation of the VisitNairn Association which brought together local B&B operators and hospitality businesses and formed us into a community with a shared interest.

“Iain chaired the association for 18 years, dedicating time and energy maintaining the vibrancy and reach of the group, even continuing to support members through the pandemic with regular, pertinent communications about issues affecting our businesses.”

Iain has now decided to hand the VisitNairn website and association to Nairn Connect BID.

Ms Holding said: "It’s time for Iain and Jane to focus attention on themselves.

“We will miss working with Iain and when eventually they leave the town we’ll miss their friendship too.”

Nairn BID recently announced the merger with the VisitNairn brand to create a new Nairn Scotland identity.

Lucy Harding, manager of Nairn BID said: “Iain has built up a fantastic resource in VisitNairn and we are delighted that he trusts the Nairn BID team to continue his legacy.

“What he has established over the last 18 years is remarkable and we are delighted that all this hard work, not just from Iain but his members as well, will not be lost.”

Mr Fairweather said: “VisitNairn has given us a focus and we wanted the world to know what a wonderful place Nairn is. Thank you all for making our time in Nairn such an enjoyable time.”

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