Business leaders in Lossiemouth are ramping up efforts to showcase the town’s array of attractions to aid its recovery.
The town’s economy has suffered from the town’s popular East Beach crossing closing in July 2019 and the pandemic.
In March, business bosses revealed that the town had missed out on £1.5m annually in visitor spend since the bridge was closed on safety grounds.
This was even before Covid struck the world.
Now Lossiemouth Business Association (LBA) wants to entice visitors back by highlighting attractions such as water sports, wildlife, businesses and Covesea Lighthouse.
Lossiemouth’s revival mission
The group has launched the A Fine Day Out campaign which includes suggested itineraries of activities for visitors to enjoy.
LBA chairwoman Maureen Halkett explained: “It is important to encourage people to come down to Lossie.
“We want to highlight everything you can do in Lossiemouth like mountain biking, shopping and coffee shops.
“When the bridge first closed, there was a lot of cancellations as people didn’t realise that Lossie had two beaches and many other things to explore.”
Business expands amid pandemic
Last August, McClintock Optical Styling Boutique owner Amanda Nasser relocated her business to bigger premises at Pitgaveny Quay.
Mrs Nasser said: “Just before the first lockdown I started looking for bigger premises.
“I did a fantastic move by coming down to the marina and expanding which has been phenomenal and the support locally has been tremendous.
“Lossiemouth means a lot. I chose to live here and moved from England.
“I absolutely love it and my heart is in Lossiemouth which has so much to offer.
“Since the bridge closure it has been extremely challenging and for some businesses, it has been more challenging than others.
“I sell a lot of sunglasses and sports eyewear and that part of the business has been really impacted.”
‘Everyone has to be positive’
Harbour Lights restaurant owner Evelyn Thomson said: “It’s been absolutely devastating for our business.
“The bridge closure resulted in a lot of people not coming to Lossiemouth.
“People were phoning us up asking if the bridge was open and if not they were cancelling their bookings.
“Lossiemouth means everything to me, it has been my home for many years.
“Everyone has to be positive and the fact we have so much to offer which can be a springboard to help us.
‘Lossiemouth is not just for a day or weekend’
Wickie Cottages owner and LBA tourist group chairwoman Donna McLean feels lucky to stay in the seaside town.
She said: “I have visited Lossiemouth over the years.
“But I only moved here in April and everyday I wake up to walk along the beach and can’t believe that I live here.
“You have the ability to go out for a dog walk in the morning and then kayak in the afternoon.
“Everyday I feel so lucky living here.
“We want to show that Lossiemouth is not just for a day or weekend.
“You can come here for two weeks and still have plenty to do within the area.
“The campaign is really important as we need to remind people that Lossie isn’t just the one bridge.
“We have two beaches, the RAF who often do spectacular displays in the sky, lots of wildlife and dolphins that are regularly spotted, lots of trails and water sports as well.”
Work on the replacement East Beach Bridge is scheduled to begin in October.