Covid-19 - How Does Arran Recover?

Covid-19 - How Does Arran Recover?

Arran is an extremely resilient and caring island environment and it is good news that (at time of writing) there has been no COVID-19 recorded on Arran for over five weeks now.  The community is to be congratulated for adhering to the medical guidelines, and handling the situation in such a way as to minimise risk to others. However, following the Scottish Government’s route map out of the crisis, some restrictions on Arran will/can be lifted, and a level of normality will slowly return. 

For Arran this is a careful balance between community, environment and economy, especially if we are to open the island up to others.  Last year,  tourism contributed £69m directly and indirectly to the Arran economy (STEAM data), and if we remain as is now, we could lose up to 80% of this, which will impact greatly on the wider island community.

As islanders we want to enjoy the safety and beauty that Arran offers, and others will wish to do likewise. Indeed, Arran has a reputation for providing a welcoming environment for everyone, but any island-to-island, or mainland-to-island interaction needs to be managed, positively, responsibly and without division. It is vital that we appreciate and respect there will be differing views, but we are, as they say, ‘all in this together’.

To this end, some key island organisations are collaborating on a proposed plan to take Arran forward and through the route map, taking account of the needs of the community, economy and environment, all of which help to make our island the special place it is. Whilst Governmental agencies will be able to provide input and support as necessary, it is absolutely key that they respond to the Arran residents’ definition of what is required. Representatives from Arran Economic Group, Arran Community Council, Arran Community for Voluntary Service, Arran Health and Social Care Partnership, Arran Eco Savvy, and VisitArran have been meeting online to discuss how best to move forward. 

Ultimately, if this plan is to reflect the strength of feeling on Arran,  the group can do nothing without feedback from you, the islanders.  As such each agency is contacting as many as possible within their own communications process, to engage in a simple online survey - and it may be that many of you have already participated in this – check out www.discoverarran.com.  This community consultation is also in this week’s Arran Banner, and if you haven’t completed it digitally, it can be handed in locally to Bay Kitchen & Stores, A&C Cameron, Pirnmill Stores, or any branch of the Co-op.  This can be done via volunteers through the Community Hubs if that is easier – 01770 600532. Please return your forms by close of business on Monday 1st June.

Everyone can play a central role in this planning process by taking part in the survey, and any further developments will be fed back to the community through the agencies involved and of course, the Arran Banner.

 

CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY

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