Enchanted Forest Confirms Record Visitors and Charitable Contribution

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire’s multi-award winning sound and light show, has confirmed today that just over 73,000 visitors attended this year’s sold-out show, which closed on Sunday night, a 4% increase on the previous record-breaking year. Event organisers have also confirmed that its three official charities – Tayside Mountain Rescue, Alzheimer Scotland and Giraffe – have each received a donation of £2500 with proceeds from the dedicated charity night held on the opening night.

Oir an Uisge, Gaelic for Edge of the Water captured the public’s imagination around the globe with international visitors one of the fastest growing audience segments for the event this year. International visitors have jumped from around 0.97% of audience share in 2014 to 2.72% of audience share in 2017, and with more than 75% citing their main reason for travelling to Scotland was to see The Enchanted Forest, they represented more than 15 different countries.

The growth in the profile of the event in recent years saw it take the title for the UK’s Best Cultural Event last winter and it is also up for a coveted Visit Scotland Thistle Award later this year. As has almost become the norm it has again broken all previous box office records and, for the first time, tickets sold out prior to the show opening on 28th September. Over 10,000 customers have since signed up for advance notice of when 2018 tickets will go on sale.

Reflecting the changing landscape of Forestry Commission Scotland’s Faskally Wood, this year the creatives behind the show took inspiration from the natural setting with dazzling visuals including a multitude of spectacular water effects, state of the art lighting technologies and exciting new artist installations. Oir an Uisge also featured a musical score that combined contemporary with traditional and which has proved a hit with visitors.

It is estimated that The Enchanted Forest’s impact on the local tourism economy is around £3 million per annum with around 54% of visitors to the event this year choosing to stay overnight in the area on their visit and over 93% citing the event as their main reason for visiting the area this Autumn.
Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, which operates the event, said:

“Once again The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the charity that runs The Enchanted Forest, is completely blown away by the response to the event. We’re delighted it has smashed yet another of its own box office records. This is very much an event run by the community of Highland Perthshire and the team behind it are really exceptional, from the creatives team who devise the concept, our new show producer Zoe Squair and brilliant operations team and to the stewards who stand out in the woods night after night during the month of October. The Enchanted Forest’s success is testimony to their hard work and commitment to providing a top quality experience for our thousands of customers.”

“We’re also extremely please that the event has also been able to contribute to three very worthwhile charities and support them in their work in the community. Tayside Mountain Rescue, Alzheimer Scotland and Giraffe have all received donations of £2500 each thanks to a sell-out charity event on our opening night.”

The Enchanted Forest returns in 2018 and people can sign up for advance notification of when tickets go on sale at www.enchantedforest.org.uk

Lights, camera, action! VisitCrieff video project starts filming in the Strath capital this week

Crieff takes centre stage this week as film-makers prepare to shoot a series of short videos in the Strathearn capital.

Crieff Succeeds BID (Business Improvement District) has appointed Crieff-based Johnston Media along with Morrocco Media and Airborne Lens to film the footage which will be used online to drive visitors to the town via social media channels.

The trio will be filming in around 20 local business locations, including The Crieff Food Company, Delivino, JL Gill, Pretoria Bar, Campbell’s Bakery, Wilde Thyme, Knock Castle Hotel & Spa, Yann’s at Glenearn House, The Tower Gastro Pub & Studio Appartments, The Quaich, The Square Bar and Kitchen, Gordon & Durward, Crieff Hydro and The Famous Grouse Experience.

This first batch of films will showcase the town’s as a destination for discerning food lovers, while a second series of videos will highlight Crieff as the ‘destination of choice’ for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adrenaline pumping adventure.

The video project is part of Crieff Succeeds BID’s ambitious marketing plan to promote the town to the short-stay tourism market in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the north east of England.

The £44,000 digital drive is being partly financed by VisitScotland’s Growth Fund. This has contributed £22,000, with the balance provided by Crieff Succeeds BID.

Blogs, press trips,and social media will also help to raise awareness of Crieff, which lies within 90 minutes’ drive of 90% of the Scottish population. The new website www.visitcrieff.scot has so far netted an incredible 50,000 views since its launch earlier this year, while the Visit Crieff Facebook page has reached over 300,000 people and the Visit Crieff Twitter over 1.6million people in the last three months alone.

Neil Combe, manager of Crieff Succeeds BID, said:

“These films will be an enormous asset to our ‘Taste The Adventure’ marketing campaign by spreading the word that Crieff is a new and exciting destination for both food lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

“Crieff has 90% of the Scottish population on our doorstep and this is a very real opportunity to tap into that market and emphasise the attraction of being at leisure in this great town.

“I am confident that this film project will capture our vibrant business community in the best light and I can’t wait to see the finished results.”

Jim Clarkson, Regional Partnerships Director at VisitScotland, said:

“Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver initiatives that grow the visitor economy. We are delighted, therefore, to support Crieff Succeeds BID’s exciting new campaign through the VisitScotland Growth Fund. The town has a huge amount to offer visitors and it is great to see so many tourism businesses coming together to inspire more people to experience Crieff.”

 

Crieff Succeeds BID opens new office in Town Hall

Crieff’s historic Town Hall gets a new lease of life this week as Crieff Succeed BID (Business Improvement District) officially opens its new hub in the landmark building.

The building’s interior has been refurbished by Perth and Kinross Council to provide office space for Crieff BID, which is currently masterminding a £44,000 digital drive to promote the town to the short-stay tourism market in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the north east of England.

Neil Combe, manager of Crieff Succeeds BID, said:

“We are extremely pleased that Crieff Succeeds BID, in conjunction with PKC, has been able to play a major role in securing the long-term future of the Town Hall.

“We know the building is of particular significance to the people of Crieff, sitting at the heart of the Strathearn capital, and we have helped to save a valuable community asset. It’s fair to say, that if we hadn’t made the move, the building would have remained closed.

“Going forward, Crieff BID knows there is great interest in the Crieff Monuments which are housed in the Town Hall. We are very keen that these artefacts should be accessible to visitors and are happy to work with any willing volunteers to staff the Town Hall so that we can extend the opening hours accordingly.”

As well as providing office space, Crieff BID’s Town Hall hub has become the latest location in the country to sign up to VisitScotland’s Information Partner (VIP) programme.

By joining this exclusive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) Crieff BID has committed to actively promote the Strathearn capital and the wider Perthshire area, and services offered by local businesses.

Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign and harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.

The programme has taken the country by storm since it was launched with visitor attractions, accommodation providers and social enterprises all joining up to do their bit to ensure visitors receive first-class information about the local region and Scotland as a whole.

Neil Combe, manager of Crieff Succeeds BID, added:

“Crieff has a host of things to see and do for visitors and we have a real sense of pride in being part of this exciting scheme.

“Our town welcomes thousands of visitors each year and the VIP programme is a great opportunity to share their wealth of local knowledge to help showcase the tourism offer in the area.

“By joining the VIP programme, not only are we helping to further strengthen and enhance the overall visitor experience in Crieff, we are working together to raise the profile of Scotland as a whole.”

Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: 

“We are delighted to welcome Crieff Succeeds BID to our VIP programme as recognition of the role it plays in promoting their local area.

“Crieff boasts a multitude of things for visitors to see and do and we look forward to working with Crieff Succeeds BID to ensure that visitors receive the best local information from a variety of providers.”

VisitScotland provides the partner sites with official signage and collateral, promotional material and information resources to make sure visitors receive first-class information about the local region and about Scotland as a whole.

Businesses and groups who sign up to the programme also become part of the accredited iKnow Scotland programme, which means that they have made a commitment to provide local information on a range of key topics. Businesses that are part of the programme are easily recognisable by the ‘iKnow Scotland’ branding displayed at their business.

VIP membership is the latest part of Crieff Succeeds BID’s ambitious marketing plan to promote the town to the short-stay tourism market in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the north east of England.

Crieff Succeeds BID is also in the process of recruiting a part-time marketing executive to help roll out its business plan.

Neil Combe added: “With over 1.7 million people reached through our social media in the last three months alone, quite simply, we need help. We are looking for someone who’s passionate about Crieff and will help to roll out our Business Plan, designed to make our town a better place to live, to work and to visit.”

ICONIC GROUSE STATUE GETS A POPPYSCOTLAND MAKEOVER AHEAD OF REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

Talented Crieff artist June McEwan went to great heights for Poppyscotland when she joined forces with The Famous Grouse Experience this week.

The fearless fundraiser ascended 20 feet on a cherrypicker to crown the grouse statue, which is situated outside Scotland’s most visited and oldest working distillery, with a striking poppy hat.

The eye-catching accessory was specially commissioned by The Famous Grouse Experience to highlight the ongoing contribution of the armed forces in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

June, who is a prominent member of Crieff Remembers, a community organisation formed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1, based her design on the traditional military caps and bonnets of that era. A cluster of knitted poppies on the top – along with a poppy embellishment on the Grouse’s breast – completed the design.

John Laurie, General Manager at The Famous Grouse Experience, also announced that the visitor attraction would be offering free Distillery and Tasting Experience tours for serving and retired military personnel during the month of November.

John Laurie said: “As well as hosting our annual Poppyscotland collection, staff at The Famous Grouse Experience wanted to do something special to give back to the brave men and women who serve, or have served, in our armed forces.”

June McEwan said: “I was honoured to be commissioned to create this artwork and I hope that it reminds visitors to The Famous Grouse Experience of the sacrifices of the brave men and women who served in our armed forces, both then and now.

“It’s not often that I have to use a cherrypicker to put the finishing touches to my artwork, but I am happy with the finished design. I was inspired by photographer of WW1 soldiers and wanted to create something that was both eyecatching and respectful.”

Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at The Famous Grouse Experience for their support of the Scottish Poppy Appeal and for going the extra mile for us this year, which means that members of the Armed Forces community can continue to receive the vital services that they rely on.”

Poppyscotland supports ex-servicemen and women and their families, providing life-changing support for the Armed Forces community. The charity helps at times of crisis and need, offering vital, practical advice, assistance and funding.

John Laurie also accepted a cheque on behalf of PoppyScotland from David Agnew, owner of Valentines In Crieff. The well-known store raised £110 by selling Wilma Linklater’s specially designed tweed fabric poppies during last year’s Crieff Arts Festival.

David Agnew said: “I am delighted to hand over this cheque on behalf of Valentines and the Crieff Arts Festival. These quirky poppies proved such a big hit with our customers that we are planning to do the same this year.”

Tayside families urged to make a will after new report reveals that half of UK families have never discussed inheritance

A leading Tayside solicitor is urging local families to discuss estate planning with their nearest and dearest.

Speaking ahead of Will Aid month this November Leann Brown, a senior solicitor with Miller Hendry’s Dundee office, says it’s vital that families discuss estate planning, not just so that wishes are known, but also to allow time to plan any tax mitigation, and to ensure that matters are as straightforward as they possible in the event of someone losing capacity, or dying.

She continued: “Sometimes it takes a specific event to occur before people will consider discussing their finances and what happens when they die. We see lots of clients who have been prompted to perhaps put a Will or Power of Attorney in place because a family member has had a health scare, or someone known to them has died.”

Ms Brown’s comments follow a recent report by Brewin Dolphin, which revealed that nearly half of UK citizens have never discussed inheritance with their families.

Leann Brown added: “Some families prefer to keep their personal affairs private and do not wish to talk to their children about their finances and what happens on their death. Others simply do not view this as a priority, or believe they are too young to discuss this. Others simply do not care and take the view that whatever happens happens!

“However, Wills lacking clarity can throw up an array of issues for the deceased’s family. This can be stressful and expensive to resolve, not to mention very time consuming. To avoid the pitfalls of unclear Wills, always consult a solicitor when putting your Will in place. For further advice contact a member of Miller Hendry’s Private Client team.”

Miller Hendry – which has offices in Dundee, Perth and Crieff – has taken part in Will Aid month every year since 1996 and, in that time, has raised an impressive £79,503.

Will Aid is a special partnership between the legal profession and nine of the UK’s best-loved charities – SCIAF (Scotland), ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers and Trocaire (N. Ireland).

Every November, participating solicitors waive their fee for writing a basic Will. Instead, they invite their clients to make a donation to Will Aid. The recommended donation for a basic Will Aid will is £95 for a single will and £150 for a pair of mirror wills.

Ernest Boath, Partner and Head of Private Client Department, commented: “People are often unaware of the difficulties they can be leaving behind for loved ones if something were to happen to them. Wills give people peace of mind that their families are taken care of and it is the only way to put you in control of your estate after death.”

Rookie renters advice: What every student (and parent) should know before choosing university or college accommodation

Students are arguably the most vulnerable demographic renting today.

The majority are living away from home for the first time, and are often unaware of the pitfalls of renting accommodation.

While parents can help guide the rookie tenants through the process, they may themselves not be aware of how things have changed since their uni days or first-time flat rental.

All too often both parents and students get focused on the emotional upheaval or logistics, rather than the important details of checking out the property and making sure the landlord is a safe bet.

Privately-owned student accommodation is likely to be an HMO – or house of multiple occupation – if it accommodates three or more students, which places extra obligations on the landlord.

For example, an HMO will need to satisfy special requirements regarding fire and general safety, utility supplies and management of communal areas, which could include fire alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets on every floor.

You can also ask to see the landlord’s HMO licence. If a landlord doesn’t have a licence when they should, they can be prosecuted and fined up to £50,000.

Whether the property is classed as an HMO or not, all landlords should ensure that gas appliances are covered by an annual check, that all electrical installations are checked every five years by a qualified electrician and that any appliances like washing machines, kettles or toasters have a PAT certificate.

By law, any deposit must be held by the landlord in a registered deposit protection scheme and you should ask to see evidence of this being done within 30 days. The deposits may be held in the name of one or more designated tenants.

The property should be checked carefully against the inventory, and whether this is a comprehensive record of all contents and the general condition of each aspect of the accommodation or a simple list, it’s worth taking photographs of the condition of everything, including any damage or poor condition that you pick up as you go round the property, to ensure that you have a strong case for the full return of your deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Recently, a group of student tenants in Bristol took a letting agent to court and managed to overturn a deduction of £780 worth of charges which was being taken from their deposit to cover redecoration and cleaning. The students had photographic proof of the state of the accommodation when they took it on and could show it was cleaner when they left, as well as having evidence to demonstrate that works claimed for by the letting agent had not subsequently been done. Their attention to detail helped them secure a County Court judgement, and the return of the deposit.

Housing law expert Jeffrey Hope, from leading Tayside solicitors and estate agents Miller Hendry, said:

“Thanks to the huge rise in demand for university places over recent years, many different types of investors and private landlords have entered the student accommodation sector. There’s been a big shift away from the scruffy digs that people used to experience at university, but there are still many older properties that may be more likely to pose problems in terms of repairs and general condition, and no sector is immune from difficult landlords.

“The important thing is to make sure young people have some guidance, and if necessary get the contract and terms checked out professionally. It’s likely to be the parent who is on the line as guarantor, so it’s worth taking time to be sure, and not just jumping to secure a property.”

Some tips from Jeffrey Hope include:

  • Ask to see the relevant licences, such as for a House in Multiple Occupation, and for any gas or electrical installations and appliances
  • If the letting agent or landlord says that any work will be undertaken as a condition of you taking on the tenancy, get it in writing before signing any agreement
  • Read the small print on the tenancy agreement and if anything doesn’t sound right then get it checked out, as once you’ve signed, you’re committed
  • Check the inventory – dispute anything that’s not accurate and take photographs when you move in
  • Make sure the deposit is being held in a Government-backed scheme.

VOLPA HELPS SECURE FUNDING TO MARKET CRIEFF, PERTHSHIRE’S HIDDEN JEWEL

Volpa, one of Scotland’s top independent marketing agencies, has secured a £44,000 marketing contract to develop a campaign aimed at making the Perthshire town of Crieff a destination of choice for those seeking outdoor adventure and good food.

Together with Crieff Succeeds BID (Business Improvement District), the award winning agency helped secure a £22,000 pot of funding from Visit Scotland’s Growth Fund. They will be behind a 12 month digital drive to raise the profile of the Perthshire town’s wealth of outdoor activities, as well as its restaurants and shops.

Working with a number of Perthshire based partners and suppliers, a number of online videos will be produced to promote the town to the short stay tourism market in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the North East of England. Blogs, press trips and social media will also help raise awareness of Crieff which lies within 90 minutes’ drive of 90% of the Scottish population.

Among the town’s tourism offerings are Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest working distillery, Crieff Hydro and Campbell’s Bakery – one of the country’s oldest bakeries. Crieff also boasts stunning scenery and a string of top independent shops, all of which will feature prominently in the new campaign.

Tricia Fox, Managing Director at Volpa, commented: “We are thrilled to have worked alongside the Crieff Succeeds BID team to help secure this pot of funding and are excited about working on this project. Crieff is one of the true jewels in Perthshire’s crown and we are confident the marketing campaign we deliver will significantly raise the profile of the town, the raft of great activities and amenities it has to offer and increase the amount of tourists heading to this fine destination. We will work to deliver the campaign with a network of local suppliers, meaning this will be a truly Perthshire born and bred project!”

Neil Combe, Manager of Crieff Succeeds BID, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Volpa to bring this marketing strategy to fruition. They played an important role in guiding us through the Growth Fund application process, working with the VisitScotland team, to develop a digital marketing strategy that will certainly put Crieff on the map for visitors. Now the hard work starts in putting the campaign together and I am looking forward to seeing the results which are targeted at driving footfall to Crieff and the surrounding area over the coming 18 months.”

Based in Perth but with a Scotland wide reach, Volpa is a full-service marketing agency boasting dedicated publicity, creative and digital departments. Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, Volpa has experienced incredible success since it was founded in 2002. It has received a raft of awards over the years, including three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy for its work with The Enchanted Forest event.

The Glenturret adds Cask 100 Peated Drummond Edition to its range

The Glenturret Distillery has announced the hugely-anticipated release of The Glenturret Cask 100 Peated Drummond Edition.

This highly collectable expression, which is available only from the distillery shop, is the first new bottling to be hand signed by the new Distillery Manager Ian Renwick.

The Peated Drummond is a cask strength single malt whisky with hints of dry almonds and fired oak. Priced at £145, and presented in a tweed gift bag, there are only 315 bottles available.

It is inspired by Glenturret’s historical connection with peated whisky when distillery founders John and Hugh Drummond forged an agreement around 1775 with neighbouring Ochtertyre estate to dig peat to fuel the fires to dry their barley for Glenturret.

The Glenturret Cask 100 Peated Drummond Edition is the latest in a series of popular limited edition releases from Scotland’s oldest distillery.

John Laurie, General Manager at The Famous Grouse Experience based at Glenturret Distillery, commented:

“The Glenturret Cask 100 Peated Drummond Edition is another very special, limited edition single cask of the very finest Glenturret malt.

Cask #100 is the first edition to feature 100% fully-peated Ruadh Maor Glenturret at a cask strength of 58.9%. It is a highly collectable single cask dram that’s well worth the price tag.

“Peated Drummond is now available for shop tastings and we plan to introduce it to our Finest Tasting Tray in the coming days.”

TASTING NOTES:

Appearance: Light, golden, clear and bright.
Aroma: Gentle yet pungent peat, slightly medicinal, hint of marzipan, dried oak tree bark.
Taste: Deft balance of flavours, peaty, spicy dry almonds, fired oak.
Finish: Long toasty and dries very slowly to offer further complexity.

To find out more about Glenturret visit: www.theglenturret.com

Please enjoy our whisky responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk

 

Dundee’s Tayforth Properties is delighted by UK-wide surge of interest in Water’s Edge office development

Top industry professionals from the British Council for Offices (BCO) have praised the “scale and ambition” of Dundee’s Water’s Edge office development which is attracting a high level of interest from employers UK-wide.

Speaking after a recent, behind-the-scenes visit to the site, which overlooks City Quay marina, John Shepherd, BCO Committee Member and Director of Whiteburn Projects Ltd, said: “The scale and ambition of this unique workspace project at Water’s Edge is impressive and one of those gems which occasionally emerges when you get a client as creative as Tayforth Properties and a responsive architect such as Nicoll Russell Studios.”

Stewart Clark, Managing Director of developers Tayforth Properties Ltd. and Ryan Cathro, from architects Nicoll Russell Studios Ltd. welcomed the group to Water’s Edge, which has been conceived as the next generation of commercial space and a catalyst to inspire, connect and energise 21st Century business innovators, entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Tayforth MD Stewart Clark revealed that there has been a huge surge of advance interest in the state-of -the art development from across the UK.

He said: “We have been delighted by the level of interest In Water’s Edge from employers as far afield as London, Newcastle and Aberdeen keen to hear more about the timing, scale and location of the project. UK-wide there’s a great demand for high quality office space and Water’s Edge ticks all the boxes in terms of quality, specification and location.”

From offices with capacity for 50 people through to individual co-working desks, Tayforth Properties is creating an open-plan, flexible workspace designed to nurture creative thinking, encourage collaboration and enhance productivity.

Original features have been retained and incorporated into Water’s Edge which boasts cutting-edge technology, co-working space and meeting rooms, plus ultra-fast broadband and temperature control.

What will ultimately become Dundee’s largest restaurant and café, with inspiring views overlooking the water, will complete the development which is due to be finished by the end of 2017.

Businesses who are interested in finding out more about Water’s Edge should contact Stewart Clark on 07782 637 420 or email stewart.clark@tayforth.com

Keep your ears open as Culture Perth & Kinross launches The Big Listen

Culture Perth and Kinross this week launched The Big Listen 4 to collect feedback from locals and visitors who use the area’s libraries, museums and archives.

The project will run for six weeks, from Monday, October 16 until Saturday, November 25, 2017, and will gather information via focus groups, online questionnaires, participatory events and discussion to help continuously improve services and plan for the future.

The results of the project will be reported on in January 2018.

Helen Smout, Chief Executive of Culture Perth & Kinross, said:

“The Big Listen 4 is a large-scale consultation with our users and more especially people who don’t currently use our services or who have stopped using them in the last few years.

“It will help inform the service developments and improvements within Culture Perth and Kinross helping ensure our future services are reflecting the needs and interests of our communities.

“This year the focus is on engaging libraries, archives and museum users – plus people who used to visit them but for some reason have stopped. We’re looking to get a feel of the impact of our services on people’s lives and get their thoughts on how we can make them better. We want to know why people do use our services, and why they don’t use them anymore or as often as they might.”

Going forward, Culture Perth and Kinross wants to highlight the full range of services, particularly in the area’s libraries.

Helen Smout added: “People who haven’t used their local library for a while will be surprised by our range of services. Members can access free wi-fi, computers and the internet. They can also tap into a huge selection of e-audio books, e-magazines, e-reference and online resources for adults and children. There’s even a free library App which gives access to library information, and of course there are traditional newspapers, magazines and thousands of books.

“The libraries teams also co-ordinates book groups, author talks and signings, exhibitions and special events geared at children. Plus there are impressive local studies resources and a network of mobile libraries covering the rural parts of Perth and Kinross not served by a community library building.”