Alfresco …. A roaring success 3000 times over!
On Saturday 19th September, the number of people using the alfresco area on Montague Street reached, and then passed, a fantastic milestone. Mrs Tricia Edwards was the 3000th person to make use of it, and was one of 187 people on Saturday. When being presented with her gift voucher (kindly donated by Sophie Reid, Owner of The Dressing Room) Tricia told John Weir that it was her and her husband’s first visit to the island and it was to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary. Tricia continued; “this anniversary just gets better, the island is beautiful as is the weather, and being able to sit outside and enjoy coffee and cake is just fantastic….. we will be back.”
Commenting on the success of the alfresco area John Weir said that; “he and the steering group were delighted with the response to the area both from visitors and from the local community. It really is fantastic to see everyone using it freely and many on a regular basis. The comments have been very supportive, sincere and, in many cases, quite humbling especially from the local residents.” There is no doubt that this facility has played a major part in allowing eateries to continue to sell food and drinks when dealing with restricted indoor facilities.
During the Lockdown period we have been trying to support local businesses and create new opportunities. Now that Lockdown is easing, we can celebrate the alfreso dining at the amphitheatre. Please have a read of the August newsletter to see what we have been doing during recent months. Thank you to all who have visited the alfresco dining and been so positive about this new venture.
A new week, and some extra information for Bute Businesses. Please contact us by email if you would like to chat through anything. We will try to help.
Here is the newsletter from Argyll and Bute with useful contact details for Business.
As everyone of us is coming to terms with the coronavirus, so too is the BID process. Please read the newsletter for more information. Whilst the BID process is temporarily on hold for 3 – 6 months the Project Co-ordinator John Weir will be on hand if you would like to contact him. firstname.lastname@example.org
Questionnaires having been coming in thick and fast and we are forming a picture of the issues identified by the Island’s businesses which will help to formulate our business plan. John Weir the Project co-ordinator has been out and about talking to business owners and invites sent out for the latest Group Meeting. This was held at the Glenburn Hotel on Monday 16th March. Andrew Spence for BID4Oban supported our Steering Group and presented his positive experiences to the business leaders from Bute. He commented on how positive the comments were from the open meeting and he explained that now was the time to take control of our Island. For more updates, please read our first newsletter.
Now that the questionnaires are coming in thick and fast we are processing all your comments to formulate the Island’s business plan. Meanwhile we have organised another opportunity for you to hear about BIDs and their benefits. Andrew Spence (BID4 Oban) will be delivering his presentation, which had to be postponed previously due to weather, on Monday 16th March at the Glenburn Hotel at 5.45pm. All are welcome to come and hear about the successes and challenges of the Oban BID. Phil Prentice from the Scottish Towns Partnership will also be in attendance to answer any questions. Please come along and join us for our information meeting.
We held our first public information evening at the Victoria Hotel on January 13th 2020 and, despite inclement weather, we had over 40 attendees, an excellent start to the process. Unfortunately our speakers Phil Prentice (Scottish Towns Partnership) and Andrew Spence (BID4 Oban) were not able to make it across the water, but John Glen introduced John Weir who explained the process and took questions from the audience. Questionnaires were given out for businesses to complete and a new date would be given out for the intended presentations on the night. The next planned meeting is at the Kingarth on Thursday 6th February 2020.
What happens now?
Now that we have been awarded the seedcorn grant by the Scottish Government, it has allowed us to employ a part-time co-ordinator for the duration of the consultation on the BID itself. The Steering Group can confirm that John Weir has accepted the role after a rigorous application and interview process.
In order to ensure our Business Plan will be relevant and pertinent to our community we are collating the views of relevant local businesses by means of a questionnaire. It is anticipated that this will take 6 – 8 weeks and then the results from this will be followed up with Business Group meetings. All information will then used to help consolidate the Steering Group ideas and formulate our Business Plan.
On going communication with the community Businesses will ensure transparency and will be detailed on this site. It is anticipated that voting for the BID will take place in Summer 2020.
January update: The Steering Group held the first Information Evening at The Victoria Hotel on Monday 13th January. There has been a good deal of interest about the BID in the local community and there was a good turnout at the meeting with over 40 businesses represented. John Glen introduced the evening and then John Weir presented the details of the BID and answered some very pertienent questions. The atmosphere was positive and was a great way to launch the BID to the wider community.