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Council supports Nairn High Street businesses (19/04/10)
At the second meeting of the Nairn Streetscape Stakeholders’ Group held last week, it was confirmed that The Highland Council would be making £15,000 available to the business community in support of promotional activities during and on completion of the streetscape works. The onus is on the business community to come up with proposals to stimulate trade and the funding will be administered through the Association of Nairn Businesses. Funding provided by the Council will enable additional funding to be sought through the Leader Programme.
Stakeholders at the meeting also received clarification about the practicalities of traffic management during the High Street upgrade. It was emphasised that full road closure is anticipated only during surfacing of the central carriageway and that this element of the work is programmed to take place towards the end of September / early October and not during the summer months. Work on the footways will commence at the top of the Brae on the Castle Square side of the street, will progress towards Cawdor Street as far as Ladbrokes. They will then move across to the RBS side and continue back towards Gordon Street. During these works the High Street should remain open for traffic, albeit with a 10mph speed restriction for site safety. Signage on the A96 will emphasise the availability of free public parking in Nairn.
Both Councillors and Council officers present at the meeting stressed the fact that the timing of the High Street upgrade had been wholly dictated by conditions attaching to funding through the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund, which is contributing £800,000 to the project. The remainder of funds are provided by the Highland Council Planning and Development Service, which is managing the project.
David Brownless, Chair of the Association of Nairn Businesses, said: “I’m sure everyone will be relieved to hear that the High Street is not going to be closed to traffic for the vast majority of the time that the works are taking place. Obviously we realise that the road will have to be closed when the new road surface itself is being laid. With regard to the timing of the resurfacing though, it seems that the favoured option is to carry it out during a relatively short period at the end of the contract, in late September or early October. While still causing disruption, this would at least prevent the need for a series of regular road closures throughout the busy months of the summer.
“The stakeholder group have also received assurances that as much car parking as possible will be retained on the High Street during the works and we are encouraged by the allocation of funding which will see a campaign of marketing and promotional activities roll out as the streetscape works near completion.”
Work in Nairn High Street will commence on April 26th and will run for approximately 24 weeks.