Collaboration in the Cairngorms
I attended the Cairngorms Business Partnership Conference this morning, an annual in the National Park bringing together local business people and organisations. I spoke in the morning session about the Government’s work to retain Scotland’s position as the most supportive environment for business in the UK, and received feedback from delegates on the GES in the Q&A session, with views on public sector secondments and the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
What’s happening through the Business Partnership is really a great example of collaboration between public and private sectors – they have a clear plan on how to make the Cairngorms a better place to do business and capitalising on the stunning natural resources of this part of the country. I was struck by their use of new technology to promote the area, through digital media such as phone apps and reinvigorating local websites, which make it easier for visitors to make plans to come to the area and for businesses to promote their goods and services.
Following the conference I visited the Badaguish Outdoor Centre to find out more about their plans to expand the centre. I’ve visited the centre many times before and it was great to catch up with staff at the centre who are taking forward some superb work to provide opportunities for young people with disabilities or disadvantaged backgrounds to enjoy the outdoors and learn new skills.
Andrew, who runs the centre, showed me the Centre’s impressive plans, recently approved by the Cairngorms National Park, and I wish him every success in the future as they take forward plans to increase opportunities for people to access the outdoors.
I also met some of the young people taking part in the Highland Youth Voice Conference, the elected youth parliament for the Highlands, which was meeting at the Centre. Convenor Stuart Davidson and Paige Sheppard about how they are working to ensure the voices and views of young people are being being heard by policy makers.