An imaginative plan to revitalise the Highland town of Nairn has been voted as the winner of this year’s national FutureTown Design Competition.
The submission by community organisation #TeamHamish, which is linked with Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise, received 45 per cent the 3,116 votes to scoop the top accolade.
The holistic design celebrates the legacy of local boy Hamish Hey, who died from cancer in 2017 at eight years old.
It aims to improve a well-known circular tourist route through the coastal town, including the links area and the town centre car park, as well as the renovation of Viewfield House as an alternative attraction for poorer weather conditions.
On the application, Hamish’s parents Sam and Susan Hey stated: “The creation of special community spaces, places and facilities for all ages and abilities to enjoy…would be an appropriate ‘Thank You’ to the community of Nairn for their continued support throughout Hamish’s illness”.
The annual competition run by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) is now in its fourth year and is aimed at stimulating conversations, provoking ideas and encouraging new approaches to highlight what towns could look like now and in the future.
It has showcased a rich variety of innovative yet practical ideas promoting positive change in areas such as the local environment, the public realm and accessibility, low-carbon and sustainable living, digital technologies and tourism, arts and culture, history and heritage, and health and wellbeing.
Dunfermline was voted second with 20 per cent of the votes, while Glenrothes came third with 10 per cent.
Chief officer of STP Phil Prentice said: “Congratulations to #TeamHamish for winning this year’s competition and to all entrants for the original, innovative and positive thinking demonstrated in their ‘future town’ designs.
“The entries provide inspiration and show that, with the right support and partnership, communities have the know-how and desire to play a key role in shaping their futures to create thriving, inclusive spaces for all to enjoy”.
Sam Hey added: “We are absolutely delighted to have received the most public votes. This is such an honour, particularly when we see the high quality and thought that has gone into the development of the other shortlisted ideas.
“When we established #TeamHamish, we had two principle aims: to create a legacy for our son whose life was cut tragically short; and to create places and spaces that could be enjoyed by the Community of Nairn who have supported us with so much love throughout Hamish’s journey.
“As our ideas developed, it soon became evident from the way that #TeamHamish was embraced that we had the opportunity to make a really positive impact on people’s lives from a truly devastating situation.
“Winning the Scotland’s Towns Partnership FutureTown Design Competition through a public vote has really bolstered our confidence and allowed us to take another step towards making our ideas a reality and achieve our goal of creating wonderful places and spaces for the benefit of the Nairn’s Community and its visitors.”