Strategic Aim 2
To improve the quality and appeal of the product offering
KEY ACTION AREAS
The Isle of Great Cumbrae is strong in many areas, and a very attractive destination, however there is always room for improvement.
The strategic aim is underpinned by the philosophy that making the island better for all visitors means making it better for the islands residents.
We must ensure that the basics are right at all levels, recognising that the levels of expectation of visitors today in the digital age, are higher than five years ago.
Cleanliness, safety and security, ease of getting around are still important, but the needs of improved digital services for visitors, higher quality of amenities and environment, are now even more critical for the visitor experience.
The quality and warmth of our welcome to our visitors must be seen as a basic essential. We must aim to continue to improve visitor satisfaction levels and the skills levels of our workforce.
We must support the digital infrastructure already taking place and take advantage of their ability to greatly improve the visitor experience.
We must communicate these massive gains in connectivity throughout the island and dispel the notion that a destination cannot be nostalgic and digitally advanced at the same time.
Our improved connectivity must be expanded to package ‘value added’ experiences with our trading partners through improved web-based offers; to attract the 18-35 markets who are all digitally connected.
The Isle of Great Cumbrae is distinctive is both physical and emotional aspects. Scotland’s ‘most accessible island’ provides a clear and concise media message.
Many competitors struggle to develop a ‘sense of place’ whereas this island clearly has a strong resonance , places that lack a "sense of place" are sometimes referred to as "placeless" or "inauthentic."
The Isle of Great Cumbrae is a very attractive destination; however there is always room for improvement; these must be sympathetic to the existing strengths and not deter from the attractiveness and authenticity which already exists.
We must support and champion our most distinctive attributes. Our sporting and cultural strengths as well as our independent retailers and restaurants, and we must encourage initiatives that will help us create an even stronger sense of place.
Our townscape and conservation aspects are two such areas that we can partner with both the public and private sectors to constantly improve our offering. The creation of a distinctive town centre will play a significant role in developing a sense of place across the island. A town centre is a meeting place for both residents and visitors alike; and can provide an excellent event venue for smaller scale memorials and celebrations.
The general area of the Quayhead is quaint but needs love and attention, to restore the buildings and general area to its former glory. Investment into the townscape concept, if a THP grant is successful, can lift this area and turnaround the Quayhead properties very quickly.
Grants are available to improve the general appearance of retail units along Stuart, Guildford and Glasgow streets.
CCDC and North Ayrshire Council are already in discussion to develop a partnership approach to uplifting shop fronts within Millport.
The development of improved moorings, pontoons and walk ashore facilities are also areas that CCDC can play a huge role with our public sector partners. These improvements will also make the island much more attractive for future financial investment, but will require a great deal of time and investment from both the public and private sectors.
The Quayhead toilet block and adjacent buildings with a little investment from North Ayrshire Council could dramatically improve the general appearance of this area, and attract private investment for walk-aboard facilities and a general mixed-use retail unit.
CCDC and North Ayrshire Council are already in discussion to develop a partnership approach for this section.
Wet weather facilities are another area that will undoubtedly benefit both visitors and residents alike, and can play an important role in improving the attractiveness of the island for families with young children.
CCDC can also play a direct role with council to aid in the development of this aspect.
We will monitor visitor satisfaction levels through visitor surveys, web questionnaires, and to benchmark the quality of our products and services with our competitors.