Community groups collaborate on efforts to promote town
Date: Sunday 17 September
A collaboration between a number of community groups in Blairgowrie and Rattray has seen four new promotional boards placed in the town highlighting some of the many events and attractions on offer.
The boards have been put up in the windows of the former Royal Hotel on Allan Street in Blairgowrie, which has been closed since early 2020, covering the chipboard which was recently installed.
Concerns were raised by a number of groups and organisations in the town about the look of the building, which is in a prominent position and visible from the busy High Street.
Following discussions, it was agreed that designs for posters highlighting some of the events and attractions Blairgowrie has to offer should be commissioned.
Working together, Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT), the Blairgowrie and Rattray Business Association (BARBA), Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association (BEPTA) and the It’s BRAW (Blairgowrie and Rattray Arts for Wellbeing) festival agreed on a design and the events and attractions that would be highlighted.
These include the Happy to Chat Happy to Listen Bench Trail, the It’s BRAW Festival, the Braemar Day celebrations in September and the BOOKMARK festival in October.
The designs also direct viewers to the events’ websites where available, as well as to the two main promotional websites for the area, www.discoverblairgowrie.co.uk, managed by BRDT, and www.visitcaterancountry.com, run by BEPTA.
The boards are re-usable, and those behind the efforts to promote the town are now planning another series of boards showcasing the festive celebrations in Blairgowrie and Rattray.
Lesley McDonald is responsible for project development at BRDT.
She said: “Earlier this year, the windows at the former Royal Hotel, which has lain vacant for more than three years now, were boarded up for safety and security reasons.
“However, the result was a fairly unsightly view on what is a very prominent landmark in the town centre.
“A few groups in the town got together and came up with the idea of creating a series of promotional posters to cover the boards. We commissioned the designs from a local business, CraicN Communications, which were then printed for us by Tayside Contracts.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the results and think they make a hugely positive difference to the look of that part of the town, as well as highlighting some of the many volunteer-led events and attractions on offer here in Blairgowrie and Rattray.
“BRDT supports community groups, individuals, and volunteers to deliver projects to enhance the town for the benefit of all those who live and work in Blairgowrie and Rattray, and this project has been a perfect example of that in practice.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in bringing this project to fruition, including Perth and Kinross Council for providing match-funding, and look forward to seeing the Christmas boards adding to the town's festive feeling soon!”
Kate Davies, who runs Adventure into Books in Blairgowrie, is acting chair of the local business association.
She commented: “BARBA is working to enhance the use and enjoyment of our town centre and it was great to play our part in getting these promotional boards in place. They showcase some of the town’s many attractions and wellbeing activities, with more to come over the winter.
“We look forward to seeing the Royal Hotel building come back to life in due course and retake its place at the heart of our high street.
“For any prospective hoteliers, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, come and take a look at this unmissable opportunity to become part of our vibrant and growing town.”
And Murray Scott from the Angus Hotel and BEPTA added: “BEPTA’s main role is as the destination marketing organisation for the Blairgowrie and east Perthshire area, providing aspirational and inspirational content to encourage potential visitors to choose this part of the world for their next trip.
“While it is disappointing that the former Royal Hotel remains closed after what has been a very difficult few years for the tourism industry, it is important to remember that Blairgowrie, Rattray and the wider east Perthshire area has much to offer visitors, both in terms of events, attractions and accommodation.
“Events such as the wonderful BOOKMARK festival, which has been enjoyed by thousands of people over the years and has really put this part of the world on the literary map, the Braemar day and night celebrations which are such a huge part of life here in Blairgowrie and Rattray, and the It’s BRAW festival which does so much to foster social inclusion and support local artists and creatives, make our job here at BEPTA easy, and it is great to be able to support them – alongside the new Happy to Chat, Happy to Listen Bench Trails - in this way.
“This suite of promotional boards showcases some of the very best aspects of Blairgowrie and Rattray and we were delighted to be involved in their development.”
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