cladach beach

Arran Recovery Group – meeting July 17th

Arran Covid-19 Recovery Plan Summary: ( Based on SG Route Map)

Summary: The ASK is simple, we want the same right to survive, community and business , as the rest of Scotland. No less, no more

Critical Issues: Credibility of Islands Bill determined by response: 

  • Tourism contributed £69m and 1516 jobs 2019. Need minimum of 50% 2019 capacity from July to deliver best cast £23m for 2020 assuming all visitor types
  • Auchrannie in Employee Consultation Process while continuing to seek increased Ferry Capacity and Government support. Indicative of all Business.
  • Government support package that recognises tourism in general and Islands inparticular as a special case requiring additional support.
  • Outcomes from 1,2 and 3 determines the size for Island Survival Plan.

Critical Path: Ferry Capacity significant improvement to 55% of the ask. Demand needs to step up to use existing capacity and the increases asked for.

CalMac, responding to AFC, has issued an enhanced summer schedule with capacity limitation based on social distancing (SD). This is a significant improvement, representing 55% of the Ask. Demand has been depressed and there are no restrictions  getting on and off the Island. This is allowing locals to travel and tourism to resume at a reduced rate. From this week, VisitArran will actively promote the Island again as a Safe, Responsible, Welcoming destination. Early indication on the demand side suggest strong demand for Self Catering and a mixed picture for Serviced Accommodation ranging from 85% occupancy in August to delayed opening. Promotion will focus on staying visitors but we expect day tripper numbers to increase as the season progresses.

July end 2019 we had booked £38m of our £69m. We estimate the current July number will be around £7m. Based on current capacity and utilization, If we get the capacity requested or dramatically change utilization, we could get to £23m for the year. Whatever happens, we need Government, at all levels, to urgently establish an ‘Island Survival Plan’. The infrastructure that supports this £69m industry employing 1516 workerswill notsurvive a 66% + reduction in income.


Who participated in the Arran Recovery Group.?

Health and Social Care Partnership, Community Council, Visit Arran, Auchrannie, Taste of Arran, Eco Savvy, Arran Development Trust, North Ayrshire Council support, Local Councillor, Arran High School, Arran Community Voluntary Service, Arran Ferry Committee, Highlands and Island Enterprise, Arran Economic Group.

Sources of information:

1) Knowledge from all of the above.

2) STEAM report for Arran 2019.

2) CalMac actual capacity data for 2019.

3) Questionnaire May/June 2020; 900 respondents or 20% of the population.


Tom Tracey

July 17thJuly

Summary Information on the plan:


COVID-19 has effectively closed travel and tourism . Restrictions will  not be removed before a vaccine is available (12 months plus). Tourist revenue is the primary income for Arran and will be reduced by at least 80% for this fiscal year.


Recovery Plan:

Develop a Recovery Plan which balances the three main strands of Island life, Community, Environment and Economy through each stage of recovery, underpinned by National and local HSCP guidance. The Plan must show how the community will be safe, responsible and sustainable, while managing risk.


The Recovery Plan will be informed by consultation with the Community on Arran. The objective being to achieve the widest possible consensus.

Business Dilemma:(Social Distancing will reduce Ferry & Business Capacity)

Community expenditure cannot support most Island Business. Current Ferry Capacity means there will be significantly reduced tourism in 2020. Unless supply and demand can be increased significantly or the Government support package changes significantly, Businesses have to decide if they can afford to borrow to survive or stop trading.


  • Ferry Capacity is the primary constraint and will influence most reset actions.


Restart Suggestions: Scottish Government Route Map, used unless Island dispensation given. Dates areindicative only.‘Reset’ must be achieved.


  • May/June: Arran for Arran: Current Business + Garden Centres, Refuse recycling , Road and Path works,
  • Social: As is + Golfing, Fishing , Boating, Bowls.
  • July: Arran to Mainland: Free movement of Islanders in line with Route Map.
  • Mid July/August: Visitors to Arran: (Priorities developed with more info.)
  • VFF/Self -Catering/Second Homeowners.
  • Hotels , Restaurants, B&B’s and Guest Houses
  • Campsites:(Need to assess the impacts of Caravans/Campervans on capacity
  • Fewer Day Trippers this year.



Arran, Covid Recovery & Beyond Follow-on Survey

October 28, 2020
The ARG survey aims to canvas local opinion to strengthen the Arran community voice and help us u…

Ferry Booking – Medical Appointments

June 29, 2020
Patient receives appointment either by telephone, letter or email for mainland medical appointmen…