Meeting BIDs for change

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Over 60 businesses and community representatives met last week for an update on the progress of Connecting Carnoustie, the Business Improvement District.

With funding from the Scottish Government and support from Angus Council, consultations have taken place over the last couple of years to decide what improvements the business owners want.

This is now nearly complete, but there is still an opportunity for businesses to express their views on the Connecting Carnoustie Facebook page and shortly, the website (www.connectingcarnoustie.co.uk). The attendees heard from Perfect Laundry owner Bill Bowles, Fin and Co. owner Pam Laird, and Gather owner Bethany Bowles. A lively question-and-answer session followed, with consultant Neil Cooney covering a number of topics.

An early draft of the business plan was also shown, which highlights four main themes and shows that a Yes vote in July would generate around £75,000 per year, for five years, to deliver the various projects.

Derek Miller, chair of the Carnoustie Community Development Trust, added: “Niche businesses that are special/different enough to persuade people to travel to Carnoustie are what’s needed. That and the recent, encouraging development of new restaurants in the town would begin to create that critical mass that makes the journey worthwhile. A successful BID vote could bring about improvements to the streetscape and accessibility of the town’s shops that could attract new businesses and allow Carnoustie to benefit from the V&A effect which will undoubtedly spread well beyond the Dundee boundary. The BID committee have to sell the potential benefits to the business community, and the business community, if persuaded, have to grasp the opportunity to make changes and improvements to bring more visitors/customers to the town.

“If the BID is approved, the BID team will not be working in a vacuum. Along with their efforts on the business front, CCDT will be working to progress projects aimed at improving the wider environs of Carnoustie through a range of ideas proposed by the community via the Charrette. It’s a bit of a truism, but if we keep doing the same as we’ve always done, we’ll get the same as we’ve always got. Carnoustie deserves more.”