A New Future for the Old Social Work Building?

Previous attempts to bring the OSWB back into use for some community purpose have not been successful. Following very helpful discussions with the Ward Manager and The Nairnshire Area Committee , the Committee agreed on 8th March to allocate £5,000 to NICE as a contribution towards the cost of an engineer’s report and then feasibility study. The relevant section of that Committee report is below for ease of reference: 6.3.3 Nairnshire visitor & experience centre and Regeneration Hub – Old Social Work Office – Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise (NICE)
This proposal seeks a contribution towards costs for an engineer’s survey report on the condition building which if positive would be followed by a feasibility study into the proposal above for a Nairnshire visitor & experience centre and Regeneration Hub. It is also proposed that previous surveys carried out on the condition of the building by the Council in 2016 will be shared to inform this work. It is proposed to allocate £5,000 towards the work proposed by NICE to obtain an updated engineers survey report followed by a feasibility study into this proposal. This award would be subject to the Council’s normal grant conditions.

Nairn Community Spa & Lido

NICE Directors’ at their Board Meeting on 15 Nov 2021 reinforced their commitment to fully supporting the initiatives envisioned by the Nairn Community Spa & Lido (NCSL) Project, under NICE’s Sustainable Energy Projects banner, especially in respect of regenerating our Nairn Swimming Pool(NSwP).  The NCSL project aims to modernise the NSwP to achieve a zero carbon based facility, using alternative energy sources, in conjunction with a new coastline Spa Lido complex, to attract tourism to Nairn (as experienced with the new Hamish Splash Pool) and Hydrotherapy pools, for the health and wellbeing of the Nairn community. All these facilities will also benefit from the advantages of thermal heat and heat exchangers, below the sea and in the seafront rock bed. Check the link https://nairnspandlido.org for full details. NICE has written in support of NCSL’s application to the SSE Renewables Sustainable development fund for the funding of a Project Manager. These combined initiatives are offered in full support as benefit to the Nairn and the Nairnshire Community.

Place Planning and Investment Model

NICE Directors’ recently reinforced their commitment to supporting two new initiatives launched by Scottish Government – ‘Place Principle’ and the Capital investment for regeneration. Check the links for full details. NICE has written via email to elected representatives urging participation in these initiatives and offering full support for the benefit of Nairn and Nairnshire.

Regeneration email
Following our NICE Director’s meeting last night, we welcome the opportunity to work with Highland Council on the regeneration of Nairn’s Town Centre. We all agree that this a great opportunity to regenerate the town centre and bring back into use many of the buildings that are empty and/or need a new use.

We would like to look at the best use of town centre buildings undertaken by the BID (Bob Ferenth and Sheena Baker) and the HC. This would mean identifying all the properties and deciding what is best use for them. It would also identify which buildings we cannot see a realistic use for and agreeing a replacement plan for the building or vacant site including structural/feasibility studies where needed.

Government policy is to revitalise centres and make them vibrant and successful. They must also be green and sustainable and have a lot more people living and working in them.

We welcome this policy and know that, working together, we can produce the town centre we all want to see and help meet the housing need that has been identified for Nairn.

Happy to discuss further and help in any way we can. We think the town centre regeneration initiatives will be the best use of the Place  Based Investment Funds. Do you agree?

Place Planning Model:

At last night’s NICE Director’s meeting we discussed the benefit to Nairn and Nairnshire of using the new Place Planning model to deliver a Nairn and a Nairnshire Local Place Plan. We agreed that this would give the strategic framework necessary before prioritising the various projects and above all making sure they are delivered.

NICE will play its part as a community – controlled body for Nairn, as defined by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, working with the Community Councils.

We think the starting point would be to agree the statutory DATA sets with Highland Council for population and housing needs assessment. This would mean building on the work we are doing with Scott Dalgarno. Douglas Chisholm and Mike Atkinson – underway before Covid interrupted – how best can we do this together?

The Scottish Government is very supportive of this model, and we have had a lot of preliminary discussions with them and HC about this. We look forward to delivering this Local Place Plan and think it is win, win for Nairnshire if we all work together to agree and deliver it

Happy to discuss further and make sure we all benefit from this exciting future for Nairnshire

Finishing Touches for All Abilities Path

In a joint project between RSPB, Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise and Nairn Access Panel, an information board has now been installed at the Kingsteps end of the recently refurbished all abilities path at the East Beach.   Featuring some of Seamus McArdle’s beautiful bird photographs and descriptions of year round flora and fauna, the board will help those using the path to identify and appreciate the amazing variety of wildlife we have on our doorstep.

Photo:   David Tomkins (RSPB), Joan Noble, Peter Duncan, Val Springett, Seamus McArdle.

Regeneration Hub

Following speculation, rumour and hearsay we felt it important to outline precisely the proposals for the Old Social Work Building, developed in conjunction with Highland Council, Nairn BID and Community Councils. It is not competing with the Community & Arts Centre.

Application extract. “The project involves restoring and repurposing a locally valued disused building and using it flexibly for a range of activities that together will play an important role in regenerating the economy of Nairn and wider Nairnshire. (More on page 2)

2020 AGM

AGM Notice



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the seventh ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held virtually at 6.30 pm on Monday 30 November 2020 using the Zoom facility for the purpose of the following essential business:

1 Welcome & Introduction.

2 Apologies for Absence.

3 Minute of last Annual General Meeting.

4 Presentation of Accounts for the year ended 30 November 2019.

5 Annual Review – Chairman’s Report

6 Election of Directors

To reappoint Steve Westbrook who has retired by rotation as provided by the Articles of the Company
To reappoint Mandy Lawson who has retired by rotation as provided by the Articles of the Company

7 ​Any Other Business

Notes for the virtual meeting:
Please request the Zoom link if you wish to participate.

The meeting will open 30 minutes early to allow all participants to access it in a timely fashion.
Appoint a proxy by Replying to this email – see below.

Copies of the company’s accounts for the year ended 30 November 2019, the Minute of the previous AGM and the Chairman’s Report are available on the company’s website – www.nicenairn.org.uk

Members are encouraged to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf if they are unable to attend in person.  To appoint a proxy you should e-mail the Company Secretary at mbarnett@macline.co.uk confirming the appointment of a proxy as follows:

“I will not attend the company’s virtual AGM on Monday 30 November 2020 by Zoom and appoint the Chair to act and vote on my behalf.


DATED this 16th day of November 2020.
Michael Barnett, Secretary
Company No:  SC388110; Charity No: SC042118
Registered Office: Drumdelnies, by Nairn, IV12 5NT

Old Social Work Building

NICE, Nairn Connects BID and The Highland Council are working together on a funding application to Scottish Government and other sources to regenerate and bring the King Street building known locally as the Old Social Work Building back into use. We’d appreciate a few moments of your time to complete a short survey.
The survey is open to all members of the community and we invite all to participate. If you can, please respond by Oct 31st.
Thank you in anticipation.
The Directors of NICE

Town Centre Traffic Report

Joan Noble has already questioned the parking arrangements for the proposed King Street development and submitted representations along with other groups and individuals (for and against the development) to the Highland Council’s e-planning file which can be accessed here.  
Joan has now submitted an Independent report. In a covering letter she tells the Highland Council planning committee members:
 “I write to respectfully ask you to consider the attached independent transport report compiled by one of the foremost experts in the field, Kevin Martin. Mr Martin has appeared as an expert witness in many enquiries and appeals including several for Highland Council.
I commissioned the report from him as I was distressed at the apparent loss of 25% of Nairn town centre car parking, and hoped that an expert report might support objections about loss of parking submitted by Nairn BID, Association of Nairn Businesses, both Nairn Community Councils and Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise, plus individuals.   I was also very concerned that, even to a lay person, the parking layout  proposed by the architect on 19th August  (purporting to redesign the car parks to produce 20 more spaces) respected neither HC or National guidelines and safety requirements, and was a danger to the public.   
Mr. Martin’s report speaks for itself, and confirms in a completely independent way that between loss of spaces and increased usage Nairn car parks will lose 50 or more spaces.  Safe and legally compliant redesign of existing car parking can produce 2 new spaces at best.”

You can read the full report here. The Town Centre application is due to be discussed on Friday 9th Oct. (Gurn from Nurn acknowledged in this extract.)