This exciting Dunoon project is designed to belong to the community. The community can get involved and help make this a reality.
Brendon Wallace, the founder and managing Partner of BC technologies, has been living in the area for the last fifteen years. As a keen mountain-biker, his hobby has taken him all over the UK and he has witnessed many exciting developments that have brought prosperity to rural areas. He recognised that Dunoon and the surrounding area was perfectly placed and had many attributes to make it an ideal location for similar developments.
The vision is to install a cable car system from Dunoon to the top of hills above the town. At the top will be a visitor heritage centre and café. This will provide access to the hills and its spectacular views over the Clyde to young and old alike. It will also allow many visitors either walking or on bikes to take advantage of the many stunning trails that for many are too high to reach. However, that’s not all. His vision also includes bringing exciting activities like a world class Zip Line and an Alpine Coaster so families can race down the hills or the less adventurous can stick with the Cable Car.
To this end, Brendon has pulled together a team of people from business and the local community with the passion and skills to see how to make this happen.
The current success of mountain biking in Dunoon and the bringing of National events to the town has been down to the hard work and determination of the Cowal Mountain Bike Club, No Fuss Events and The BID / Dunoon Presents. The success of what they have achieved is commendable and can be added to by The Dunoon Project.
There is a compelling case for developing Dunoon, and the surrounding hills, into an activity and outdoor tourism destination that delivers sustainable economic growth to the community, Cowal and the Argyll and Bute region, by means of harnessing its location as a competitive advantage; supporting economic development; and creating jobs, all whilst protecting its natural assets.
The intention is to create world class centres of excellence that will facilitate the enjoyment of the great outdoors. The facilities will have national appeal and cater for all; from family groups to outdoor enthusiasts, from the less fit to the disabled, from local people to visitors.
The project will be community owned and will create a positive cash flow to promote new and secure existing community benefits. The project is expected to have a significant social and economic impact within the town of Dunoon and the wider Cowal peninsula but is also expected to be catalytic in developing the Argyll & the Isles tourism experience
Several attempts have been made to regenerate this historic seaside town and whilst having some impact none of these initiatives have been of sufficient scale or had the community at their heart. None of these have focused on the towns unique setting, its proximity to the Glasgow Conurbation, its exceptional environment and outstanding forest hinterland.
But what has been lacking is new infrastructure and investment to draw visitors back for more prolonged experiences in the town and its hinterland. What is also lacking are quality jobs and business opportunities, and local affordable housing to retain young people and attract economically active people to move to the area. And with an ageing population there is also a looming crisis in caring for the elderly within the community and long term unwell.
The Dunoon community wants to tackle these issues and fully recognises it cannot afford to wait for or expect the public sector to take the lead especially considering unprecedented cutbacks in public sector funding.
It has been recognised that imagination and ambition is needed to reverse the town’s fortunes and in so doing establish it as one of Scotland’s best places to live which offers great days out and a must visit outdoor adventure destination on the coast. The aim is to establish Dunoon as destination of first choice appealing to a wide base of outdoor enthusiasts and visitors alike who expect something better - and benchmarked against world class facilities throughout the world.
It is seeking to build on the recent campaign activity championed by the Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative (AITC) positioning Argyll as Scotland’s Adventure Coast through the Wild About Argyll initiative and the recent Heart & Soul of Scotland campaign celebrating the proximity of Argyll with Glasgow and ease of transport options. Cowal and Bute are ideally placed to optimise this market positioning.
The Dunoon Regeneration Initiative is therefore seeking to capitalise on the town’s unique assets to tackle its regeneration head on.
With a steering group of key local businesspeople at the helm, the ambitious ideas hatched in 2015 have now been packaged as an infrastructure project which will create new high quality employment opportunities, develop the areas environmental credentials, improve the wellbeing of locals and drive visitor footfall and spend.
To learn more about the Dunoon Project please download a copy of ‘An Introduction to the Dunoon Project and Feasibility Study’