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Blog: September 2021- Lucy Harding, Nairn BID manager

“As the sun sets on one event, another has already taken place, and another is in the planning.

Nairn is becoming the event capital of the Highlands, at least that’s how it feels to us!

Events are fun and frivolous, but they do drive footfall and therefore income to the town, so they are an important part of what Nairn BID offers.

We want to say a huge “Well done!” to the organisers of the Nairn Book & Arts Festival which the BID played a part in supporting. The chair, Alex Williamson, is also a BID director, and we feel very grateful to have his evident skills on our board too.

The BID team, in association with other organisations and individuals in the town, is now working diligently to bring about a Christmas event at the end of November. It won’t be a Christmas lights switch on – more about that another time – let’s just say Covid has played its hand in that part of what we usually offer. BUT it will be amazing. 

Once again, we are working in collaboration with the people at the Inverness Famers Market who helped us bring such a superb summer market in August. The plans for Christmas are the same, but with jingle bells on!!

We are planning community entertainment, street theatre, and depending on the Covid situation we hope to extend our offering not only on the High Street but down at the Links too. 

Planning events is tough in any climate – there is so much legislation, licensing, and risk assessment to be done, and rightly so, but trying to plan in a climate where we don’t know what the situation will be, is even tougher. However, the BID team is going for the “All singing, all dancing” plan and then we have back up plans to the back up plans!

Whilst the BID team and its board are always doing their best, there are those that are still sceptical about whether what we do is worth the levy.

We say this… this year alone, in one of the most difficult years we have all faced, we have spruced up the High Street, installed maps and interpretation boards, and introduced a paint grant for businesses to better their properties. We are about to install eight picnic benches, 14 wooden benches, colour coded signage and new noticeboards. Earlier in the summer, we launched a Nairn film which reached tens of thousands of people – and a winter one is in planning. We are in the process of merging our Nairn Scotland brand with Visit Nairn to better promote Nairn as a tourist destination. We have put on a hugely successful summer market and are now pushing ahead with plans for Christmas. We have leveraged a good deal of funding as well as the levy which businesses pay, and we are putting that money to good use. Progress may be slow to see, but we are getting there. 

If there is something we aren’t doing that we should be, all we ask is for businesses to get in touch and let us know. “

Originally written by Lucy Harding for The Inverness Courier