Digital Grantown February 2018

From Town Drummer and Bellman to Universal Digital Connectivity  

The Grantown Society is well aware of both Grantown’s present strengths, weaknesses and potential: a knowledge enhanced by the recent eight day event in the community centre and the current Conservation Area Appraisal.  The Society has an impressive view of the town’s past through research and collection over its forty plus year existence. Now Society Members have developed an exciting and practical vision for the future of Grantown as the capital of a digital Strathspey thanks to a new award for inclusion in Scotland’s Digital Town’s Pilot Programme delivered by the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

Digital Dustbins …. What next?

Following an application last August, the Society’s award was announced in November as was the project’s main recipient, The Highland Council, who propose town Wifi for fourteen towns and villages; including Aviemore – (but not Grantown).  This month (February 2018) two Society members attended an information seminar in Perth outlining the Digital Scotland Pilot Programme. They also had discussions with Simon Baldwin (Destination 66), Richard Watson (Rapier Systems), Stuart Black (Director of Development and Innovation, The Highland Council) and Keith Grant (The Highland Council’s Principal Project Officer). The vision is for extensive public WiFi in Grantown and Mid-Strathspey along with a complete management system to make full use of this for the benefit of the whole community; residents, businesses and visitors.  The vision is for a fully managed, easily accessible system including instant detailed business and heritage information discovered simply though point and click with an enabled mobile phone.  It will enable promotion of local businesses and visitor opportunities - from business details to walks and tours, from up-to-date events to environmental information, from services to sites of interest.  It would link existing websites and sources of information, make available mailing lists and local news, provide opportunities for marketing and the promotion of offers.  It could support a local gift card – a pre-paid visa card with which users could make purchases in participating businesses and provide a bonus similar to Grantown’s recent successful “Gold Rush”.   It would provide data which could be used to view footfall, visitor numbers and origins, traffic flows, etc. and thus help future planning.  In all it could provide greater civic pride and connectivity, increased economy and heightened destination awareness.  There are plans which would link the surrounding villages to the Grantown hub, creating a “Digital Improvement District”.  Currently, though the exact nature of support is not yet known, the vision is exciting, promising an enhanced future for the town, alongside other projected local developments.  

Bill Sadler, The Grantown Society February 2018  


Society AGM (Sept 2017)  

For the first time in its 40+ years the Society is holding its AGM at lunchtime.  It will be incorporated into the Richard Waitt Conference to be held on September 15th.  (See events)  


Fiddler of Strathspey Festival  (June 2017)  

The Festival has been acknowledged as a great success and is featured on the cover of this month’s Box and Fiddle Magazine.  The Society has agreed to back moves to run monthly meetings of a local traditional all-age-all-ability  music society. The festival now has two festival partners.  Grantown East: Highland Heritage and Culture Centre, & the Ben Mhor Hotel. Support is also generously provided by Tasgadh, The Hope Scott Trust and the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation.  


Grantown Street Parade and Grantown Past to Present (May 2017)  

These wonderful resources have been donated to the Society which is deeply grateful to Harley and Cally Miller whose hard work  created the project.  


Conservation Project (May 2017)

The first meeting of a steering group was held on Thursday 9th March 2017.  The steering group consists of the Highland Council Conservation Officer, representatives from the Grantown Initiative, the National Park Authority, The Grantown Society, Highland Council and the Grantown and Vicinity Community Council, and is chaired by a member of Voluntary Action Badenoch and Strathspey.  


 Newspaper Digitisation  (May 2017)  

The Society now holds digital copies of early Grantown Supplement and Herald.  Thus research on any topics can be done at any member’s leisure by buying or borrowing a copy on a memory stick.

 Contact :  


Birth of the Modern Highlands   

A Grantown Society publication   (April 2017)

 This much acclaimed and beautifully illustrated publication was developed from an exhibition in 2007 by The Grantown Society in association with Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust, based on contemporary evidence from Strathspey and to a lesser extent, Badenoch and Skye. The exhibition later went on to tour the Highlands. Original and meticulous research was done by members of the society. Copies can be obtained from The Bookmark, Grantown, Grantown Museum and Waterstones,Inverness. Price £12.99.

Or by post from. - Bill Sadler, Murree, Woodside Avenue, Grantown PH26 3JN   :