It was hoped that the good work will continue to support and develop the retail sector – and to help it re-open and recover after the pandemic lockdown. People appreciated the number of independent shops and thought there were opportunities for more – including suggestions for pop-up shops to make use of the empty spaces. The Crieff Markets were also seen as a good feature and it was hoped they would continue and develop. The accommodation and hospitality sector is strong and varied but there were suggestions for more ‘intermediate’ accommodation and to develop opportunities for outdoor eating. The marquee in St. James Square was seen to have been a great addition – and it was hoped that covering the square to create an outdoor meeting, eating and market space could become more of a permanent fixture. The town also benefits from a strong arts and cultural sector that was recognised and appreciated by many respondents as were the events that helped bring visitors to the community and contribute to the quality of life of local residents in Crieff and across Strathearn. They saw the need to continue to support and develop this sector further as one of Crieff’s key assets. Arts and culture was one of several suggestions too when people talked about the need to create a Visitor Destination Brand for the town. Future developments include proposals for a new multi-screen ‘film and sound hub’. Crieff has grown in its ability to support local businesses and encourage new enterprise. These resources will be needed more than ever after the pandemic. It was recognised that the development and co-ordination required to achieve these developments will require ongoing support from Crieff Succeeds, Can Do Crieff and others like GrowBiz and Business Gateway.
Priorities & Actions
Short updates will appear as text under each progress tracker when available
1. Improve the scope of town centre retail and hospitality
Strategy to attract new specialist, independent shops
Use of empty shop spaces e.g. pop up shops
Work with existing cafes, restaurants etc to create an outdoor dining experience
Permanent cover over part of St. James Square
Continue to market the ‘shop local’ message
Explore options to create more accommodation in the town
2. Visitor Destination
Agree destination purpose/s for Crieff
Branding and marketing campaign to promote agreed destination purpose/s
Cultural partners working together to develop a calendar of events
3. Arts and Culture
Foster joint working and promotion
Lots of local groups currently use Crieff Community Garden to host orienteering activities, scavenger hunts, bird watching etc and other groups are also encouraged to use the garden e.g. meditation, yoga etc.
Continue to support and develop local arts and cultural activity, groups, businesses, facilities and events as a key asset in Crieff
Crieff Community gardeners host free events throughout the year – seasonal Easter, Halloween and Christmas events, plant sales, mental health walks and talks, guest authors to the story corner and gardening skills workshops.
Attract more artists/makers/creative businesses
Involving young people in the development of arts and culture in Crieff
Crieff Community Garden involved Crieff Primary School pupils in a bird house design competition with hundreds of entries and a winner chosen from each year group. The designs were painted onto bird houses and are now proudly displayed in Crieff Community Garden. Some even have bird residents already.
Crieff Community Garden have built a story corner and invite guest children’s authors to read a collection of their stories at events.
4. Package of measures to support business development and recovery
Identify and provide support required to assist local businesses following the pandemic
Regularly share information about local or national financial support and provide assistance to apply
Marketing of Can Do Crieff co-working space
The co-working space is fully open again after the pandemic and are keen to recruit new members to ensure its viability. A range of membership packages is available from pay as you go per day to full 24/7 usage. The space is warm, welcoming and conducive to productive working.
Regular and relevant Biz Chat sessions in response to local business interests
Promote GrowBiz and Business Gateway workshops for businesses to develop individuals and capacity
Identifying opportunities for training, apprenticeships and employment for local young people