lochranza castle

Summary ARG information Overview

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 around 70% this calendar year. Arran needed to develop a recovery plan in line with the Government Route Map.

Who are the Arran Recovery Group.?

Arran Recovery Group is a short term response group focused on tackling a particular critical situation. 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, ACVS, 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


Objective of the Arran Recovery Group.

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 plan will operate within the Government guidelines and timetable, Respond, Reset, Reset, Recover: It will ensure four capacities are in place to facilitate recovery:

  • Safety is the primary concern of the community and the people who visit us. Ensure, clear guidelines are in place to mitigate risk and our local HSPC has the capacity to manage Test and Trace for CV19 and maintain normal services for the community and visitors.
  • Supply: Ensure that there is enough ferry capacity to support local and visitor travel, while providing business with information on support available to sustain and prepare for restart.
  • Demand: Ensure, when the time is right, that Arran is promoted as a Safe, Responsive and Welcoming Island destination.
  • Island Financial Recovery fund that recognises the particular Island constraints to Recovery and supports Business infrastructure.



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

Arran Recovery Plan to date:

900 respondents and 35,000 responses from community survey helps establish baseline and direct future plan. Draft 6 of the plan complete and draft 7 will go on the website by the 27th July.


Arran Covid-19 Recovery Plan Summary Status July 17th

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 in particular 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 is 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 workers will not survive a 66% + reduction in income.

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

The Route Map to recovery operates on the Island but constraints do not allow most Island business to operate, in any practical sense. If not urgently addressed, this contravenes the spirit and legal framework of the Islands Bill.


Draft 7 of Recovery Plan in final review target date for website and further community engagement 27th August.

What are we trying to do? 

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 and support. Any Plan must

show how the community can be both safe and sustainable with managed risk.

Balance Community, Environment and Economy:

programs, priorites and actions

Why is it important? 

Tourism and Food and Drink directly and indirectly underpin the Arran economy. Along with the wider community, these sectors are either significantly altered or closed down. Business is being sustained in the short term by government subsidy to specific business. In addition, there are national and local investment funds ( NAC Community Wealth Fund) that will be deployed to communities that can demonstrate they understand how these additional  sectoral investments will benefit the community, the environment and the economy.

To better understand the Current State, we conducted an Island wide survey with over 900 residents participating with 35,000 responses to community, environmental and business questions and choices. This section covers participation and general questions and opinions. Others sections focus on the specifics of Community, Environment and Business.

who participated

Our ferry service is our bridge to the wider community and market. During the height of the crisis, this draw bridge was raised, we were essentially isolated, with the exception of essential work and services. During that time, this was reassuring but not compatible with the Reset and Restart of our Island with the wider Community. Therefore It was essential to know, that even at the height of the crisis, the community regarded our ferry service as being for both Community and Business as this chart shows:

ferry serve should meet these demands

Business Confidence: 

As people’s attitudes will often determine their actions, it was essential to understand the impact that CV19 on business confidence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was the most empathic response in the survey with “Optimism on Arran’s Economy” falling from 89% p re CV19 to 11% and only recovering to a shaky 47% post CV19.

rank of optimism on arran's recovery
 Clearly, what will change this opinion most is the local and wider community response after the worst of the crisis has passed. However, work and programmes are needed to demonstrate how we can retain the community and environmental benefits of CV19 balanced with a sustainable, progressive economic agenda.  

Island Future State: (2021/22)
Arran has developed a balanced plan that prioritises the needs of the community, environment and business to bring the Island  together in the common purpose of renewal as well as attract external funding and support.

Plans Operating Principles:

  • National and Local health guidance will be our primary guide.
  • The Community must be sustainable and represent the interests of all Islanders. The health of the community has priority in any recovery plan.
  • Plans should identify what the end point would look like with the stages that you would go through to get there.
  • Recognise what we cannot do but also highlight, advocate and do what can be done.
  • Use good and bad experiences in other locations to identify best practice and copy, as appropriate
  • Widest possible consultation.

How do we deliver:

  • Constitute group around the AEG to agree, amend all of the above.
  • Develop phased plans. Respond, Reset, Restart, Recover.
  • Agree subgroups ;Community, Environment, Economy.
  • Deploy groups with support and agree timeline.
  • Each group develops sectoral plans. e.g. Economy, Comm, Environment.
  • Bring plans together to understand overlaps and divergence.(80% agreement)
  • Share Plans with wider community, adjust as appropriate.
  • Share the Arran Recovery Plan with Government and integrate with our Local Authority Plan and the National Plan for the Islands.



Arran, Covid Recovery & Beyond Follow-on Survey

October 28, 2020
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