Call for council to support its towns
Crieff Succeeds BID chair’s high hopes for the future
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