Call for coun­cil to sup­port its towns

Cri­eff Suc­ceeds BID chair’s high hopes for the fu­ture

Strathearn Herald - - NEWS - Clare Damodaran

The chair of Cri­eff Suc­ceeds BID ( Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict) has called on Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil to recog­nise and sup­port the ef­forts of towns through­out the re­gion to de­velop.

Gra­ham Donaldson was speak­ing at the Cri­eff Suc­ceeds BID an­nual open meet­ing, held at Strat­hearn Artspace on Wed­nes­day last week.

At the meet­ing, he told those gath­ered that he was de­lighted by how far the ini­tia­tive has come in the two years since it was es­tab­lished.

But he added that although they were grate­ful for the sup­port they re­ceived from coun­cil de­part­ments, they had “great con­cerns that up to now ev­ery­thing has been Perth-cen­tric”.

High­light­ing the progress Cri­eff Suc­ceeds BID has made, Mr Donaldson said: “Our suc­cesses in­clude our new web­site, an ac­tive so­cial me­dia cam­paign, and a very suc­cess­ful ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign which will be built on with the sup­port of a £ 22,000 grant from Visit Scot­land.

“Other high­lights of the year in­clude the ren­o­va­tion of the Town Hall, car­ried out thanks to sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial sup­port from PKC, which will al­low us to sup­port lo­cal busi­ness through a sub­stan­tial tourist in­for­ma­tion role.

“In the next cou­ple of months, we shall launch our new Cri­eff Gift Card, a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive which I would urge peo­ple to get be­hind.

“We con­tinue to de­velop the busi­ness plan, and have some very sig­nif­i­cant events lined up for the com­ing year.”

Mr Donaldson also thanked board mem­bers and BID man­ager Neil Combe for their on­go­ing com­mit­ment and hard work.

He con­tin­ued: “Over the last year, we have lost a few board mem­bers, and my thanks go to Stu­art Cas­sells from the Fa­mous Grouse and Kate Gra­ham from the Co-op, both of whom have moved on to new jobs out­with Cri­eff.

“We also had a change in rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil, and my thanks and those of the board go to Ann Cowan and Anne Younger, who both stood down at the coun­cil elec­tions. I would also like to thank Si­mon Pen­gel­ley who re­tired from the board.

“I am de­lighted to say that the board has wel­comed two new faces as di­rec­tors, Jamie Lan­dale from the Cri­eff Food Com­pany and Kay Asch­aber of the Spence Gallery, both of whom bring a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence with them.

“I am also pleased to wel­come to the board as ad­vis­ers Graeme Bing­ham of Cri­eff Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices, Jim McEwan of Fin­layson’s Ac­coun­tants and An­drew Snow­ball, a re­tired busi­ness­man with huge past ex­pe­ri­ence in the army and se­nior roles in the oil in­dus­try and the fi­nan­cial sec­tor.

“We have also been strength­ened by the ap­point­ments of Coun­cil­lor Rhona Brock and Coun­cil­lor Roz McColl to our board. Fi­nally, I would like to thank Jean Ann Scott

Miller, who has sup­ported us in a vol­un­tary ad­min­is­tra­tive role.”

Mr Donaldson sin­gled out PKC’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment de­part­ment for spe­cial praise, and ap­pealed for sup­port from the coun­cil’s new Tory ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He added: “We are also hope­ful that with a new ad­min­is­tra­tion in Perth, we can ex­pect a change of fo­cus when look­ing at town de­vel­op­ment.

“It has to be said that we have great con­cerns that up to now ev­ery­thing has been Perth-cen­tric - ev­ery­thing from a free pa­rade in Perth on the same day as Cri­eff High­land Gath­er­ing to light­ing projects cost­ing vast amounts, to the re­fur­bish­ment of the Coun­cil Cham­bers and St John’s at the top of the High Street, to wa­ter taxis on the Tay. Perth’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment bud­get is, I be­lieve, in the re­gion of £500 mil­lion.

“It is time for our ef­forts in Cri­eff and those of other towns within PKC to be recog­nised and sup­ported.

“Cri­eff Com­mu­nity Trust and BID are try­ing very hard to en­sure that Cri­eff has a healthy eco­nomic fu­ture, and we need the back­ing of the PKC ex­ec­u­tive.”

Sup­port call Cri­eff Suc­ceeds BID chair­man Gra­ham Donaldson and BID man­ager Neil Combe

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