Results from a recent survey show overwhelming support for the Dornoch business improvement district (Bid) plans.
69% of businesses in Dornoch are in support of the new project according to the survey done by organisers.
The project is being led by co-ordinator Paula White and chair of the steering group Neil Hampton.
The Bid’s key areas include promoting and marketing Dornoch, town centre and environment, business collaboration and advocacy and improving business facilitations and access to support.
The whole IV25 area would be covered if the plans are voted in.
Dornoch Bid will make it a more attractive location says golf club manager
Neil is also general manager of Royal Dornoch Golf Club and believes the Bid investment would make significant improvements to the town and for visitors.
The golf club has allocated more than £60,000 in grants to local groups as part of a community fund.
He said: “The Bid will hopefully exist so the town will improve for visitors and bring in more income.
“The golf club is a huge part of Dornoch, and it is a massive supporter of the new plans.
“We currently have Visit Dornoch, which is voluntary. Employing full-time staff to look after the area would be a significant message.
If the Bid is successful, businesses will pay an annual fee which will be collected by Highland Council.
Neil continued: “We already invest heavily in the area, and I’d encourage other businesses, big and small, to get behind the Bid.
“Improving the town for the future won’t just attract visitors but will make it a more attractive place to live.”
Open days have already taken place with a business networking event set to take place on August 30.
The proposal has been submitted to Highland Council, who will return feedback on August 17.
What happens next?
Companies around Dornoch were invited to consider joining the Bid in January.
The business plan will be sent to all companies along with ballot papers for the Dornoch Bid vote at the end of September.
The final day for submission of votes will be November 16.
For the ballot to be successful there must be a minimum turnout of 25% of eligible voters, with the majority voting in favour.
If the vote is in favour of the proposal it will aim to open in March 2024.
Dornoch currently has a volunteer-led Community Interest Company with around 80 members.
Its three part-time staff are responsible for manning the local visitor centre, producing newsletters and highlighting events throughout the year.