Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Oban top and Fort William high street.

Please consider. You might need to put your brain in a cool cloth before reading this.

You are a small business owner in a country town. Because you pay business rates you are being asked to vote for a scheme which will help to build tourism in your area. Your business is not related to tourism. You may be a business developing websites for clients, (or you are a local farmer selling cheese, or a crafts jeweller selling the products you make at home to an online market, or you have a business selling things on ebay). For the scheme to go ahead. 25% of business people in the area must take part in the vote and 50% of those voting  have to vote Yes for the scheme to pass. If Yes, then there are a series of local projects each with varying costs which can be selected for development

If the scheme passes then you as a small business will have to pay a contribution to the scheme, (by law). Maybe £200 or up to £5000 perhaps, it depends upon the scheme costs. You will have NO option to pull out or not pay up. It will be as if £200 or up to £5,000 has been added to your business rates.

Remember that your business does not have anything at all to do with tourism although other businesses are connected to tourism.

Question One.
Are you going to vote Yes to this scheme? There will be no benefit to you in your view, but a definite cost (not pence)
Question Two.
If 80% of the businesses in the area do not see themselves as being primarily dependent upon tourism is this scheme going to get the go-ahead?
Question Three
If you are the owner of an hotel, a B and B or a self catering unit, or a tourist attraction, or a restaurant are you going to vote Yes to the scheme. Will the scheme get a Yes from 50% of those voting?
Final question.
If 80% of the businesses in an area are definitely tourism related, will this scheme get the go ahead?

This is a summary of a scheme called a BID (business improvement district). Very successful scheme, originating in  the USA and going around the whole country now.

If the scheme gets a Yes vote, then there will be several major projects to pick from all designed to improve tourism in an area such as Lochaber. This includes the big population of Fort William which is mostly light industrial, building and such like, and Glencoe a tiny population, which is mostly tourism based.

This is being debated now in Lochaber. Oban has voted yes already.

I would love the scheme to go ahead and be voted a yes. I can see how it gets a Yes vote in Oban which is dominated by the tourism business. I'm not so sure about Fort William voting yes. It does not see itself as a Tourism-centric place. The look of the town is witness to that. Glencoe is tourism-centric no doubt.

I have the feeling that it may get a no from Fort William. but luckily, it could be re-constituted as a Glencoe and Ballachulish scheme and this would almost certainly get a Yes for local projects.

If this does happen then it is the surrounding areas with no clout at all, such as Ardnamurchan or Appin which will be left out. They can do tiny schemes of their own of course. I feel bad for them.

Let's hope I'm wrong and it will go ahead for Lochaber.

There is a widespread complaint that many local tourism related businesses pay nothing towards the promotion of Scotland to tourists. I agree with that. We are not members of VisitScotland, which does the national promotion, and does an excellent job in terms of advertising and pr, but is clumsy and heavy-handed with its members. So we put our annual contribution of over £100 to the local promotion body, DiscoverGlencoe. This is well worthwhile, and has an excellent website. Ours is a kind of charity contribution. We have had very few enquiries from it, but that is because we get quite full early in the year and we lie a little outside the Glencoe area. It certainly helps people know and be attracted to the Glencoe area.


Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland Last minute, late availability Glencoe, self catering cottage 20 brilliant walks around our cottage area Easy hill walks in Glencoe Why not walk up Ben Nevis one day? Easier Munroe walks in Glencoe Skiing Glencoe and Nevis range, cottage is midway between the two Video. Skiing on Glencoe mountain Weather in the West of Scotland Rock and Ice climbing in Glencoe Cycling and fishing Glencoe Spectacular wild life around our cottage Golf in the Highlands, Dragons tooth golf course, Glencoe Cruising the islands, using Glencoe as a base Safe, beautiful beaches and bays in Glencoe area Touring the Highlands by car from Glencoe, Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe Winter breaks, Jan Feb March in the cottage Autumn breaks November December in the cottage Our new Appin blog site

Monday, April 22, 2013

Increasing population of little ones in the Highlands

This is lovely news to someone like me who has heard of nothing but gloom for decades that the Highlands population is in decline, that youngsters are leaving in droves never to return and the whole local scene is depressing.
Well, it is not true any longer, they aren't and it isn't. It is all good. The region had the third greatest increase nationally in household population of any area in the ten years after 2001.
The 0-5 year olds increased by 11%. Yes, a bit of a weakness in the next age group, of 5-14 year olds, then increases after that.
It is not yet a Clearance in reverse. but one day it could be.

I'm just putting in these links to a site where i need more links, to help it up the google rankings.
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Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog