Mini Bite – from Alistair Danter – 17th December 2022

In Alistair's Mini Bite below you'll find information on Alistair Danter's work as Project Manager for SkyeConnect.

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Some real winter weather in the run-up to Christmas, industrial disruption, cost of living problems and a real feeling that this is the “bleak mid-winter”….. The phrase “hang on in there” has real meaning just now ……. But as part of the tourism industry, we need to remember that our area has great businesses with great offers, we are a known destination that visitors want to visit. There are bright lights in the form of advance bookings and enquiries for 2023 which are currently looking good. We will get through these difficult times and one of the best ways of making that happen will be by working together. Feedback from the SkyeConnect Autumn event was positive with participants clearly stating the value of face-to-face events, one comment summed up the day …. “We felt it was just us struggling with issues but hearing today’s discussions we realise that we are all in this together”. Our interviews with STA CEO Marc Crothall and Regional VisitScotland Manager Chris Taylor at the Autumn event spells out a clear message on the value and importance of businesses working together and can be seen on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SkyeConnected/

A few quickies to keep in touch:

Housing Issues

Great news from Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, whose current new build programme will deliver 60 new homes by June. Anyone looking for a home in Portree or Broadford should apply to the Highland Housing Register now by clicking this link 

North Skye News

Successful negotiations with Transport Scotland for a grant for promoting the Uig area of north Skye to combat negative effects of ferry closures for the next few months have been successful, we will be discussing development of an appropriate promotion with local businesses in the coming weeks.

Hotels Group Meeting

The recent Hotels group meeting focussed on employment matters. It is great news that Mathew Jackson who chairs the local DYW (Developing the Young Workforce)  programme has joined the Board of SkyeConnect. If you would like to join the Hotels group meetings contact Gary Curley via gary.curley@skye-connect.com

Self Catering & B&B’s

Self catering and B&B operators have been granted some breathing space following the announcement that the registration period for Short-term let licencing has been extended by six months, until 1st October 2023. Details can be found here.  Anyone wishing to receive a full deck of slides explaining the licencing requirements in detail produced by the Highland Council can send a request to info@skye-connect.com

Welcome to SkyeConnect The Bracken Hide!

We would like to welcome our newest SkyeConnect member “The Bracken Hide” , we look forward to working with them.  A key membership benefit for Business and Business + members is the opportunity to feature as SkyeConnect “Member of the Month”, the current MOM is Hotel Eilean Iarmain, their promotional video can be seen here on the MySkyeTime website.

Business Rates

Scottish Govt budget announcements in relation to Business rates are welcome, the decision to freeze the poundage rate and align with the rest of the UK is good news this will provide relief to ratepayers by reducing the upfront cost burden of non-domestic rates. The decision reflects a victory for constructive advocacy across all business sectors however our feeling is that looking ahead, we need to see reform to the business rates system to ensure that it aligns with the economic reality in which businesses operate.

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