The Angus Tourism Cooperative is a company limited by guarantee. The organisation was established by four founding members; Ann-Marie Black, Blacks of Brechin; Alison Elliott, Murton Trust; Stuart Clark, Balmuirfield House B&B (and Secretary of the Dundee & Angus Visitor Accommodation Association (DAVAA)) and Tommy Baxter, Glamis Castle, who are all Directors.
After setting up the ATC officially on the 14th of June 2017, one of the key issues was to make sure different sectors within the tourism trade in Angus were properly represented. It was decided that each identified sector would have a Director on the board.
The four original board members would represent Transport, Attractions, Nature & Outdoor learning and Accommodation. The task was set to bring in more Directors to be a voice for
- Events & Festivals
- Glamping, Camping and Caravanning
- Food & Drink
This board would meet monthly.
On 21st of August 2017, four new Director were voted onto the board. The were John McKenna from the National Trust for Scotland, Steve Moir from Caledonian Railway in Brechin, Louise Nicoll from Newton Farm Holidays in Inverarity and Bryan Williams from Greenhillock Glamping near Forfar. Louise would represent Agri-Tourism, Bryan would take on Glamping, Camping and Caravanning whilst John and Steve would represent Attractions alongside Tommy Baxter. The office bearer roles within the Cooperative were also decided upon. Ann-Marie Black would assume the role of Chair, Steve Moir would be Vice-Chair, Alison Elliott would be Secretary and the position of Treasurer would be left vacant and the duties would be performed by a chartered accountant. Thos role would be later taken by Fiona Ferrol of Murray Taylor accountants.
Millie Clarke from Angus Council would act as Minute Secretary to provide assistance to the Secretary and Dennis McFarlane from VisitScotland would act as a Membership Coordinator.
The company’s Memorandum of Association stated that the maximum number of directors would be 12, but no more than 9 would be member directors and no more than 3 would be co-opted directors, although a co-opted director could also be a member.
On the 10th October 2017 we held a very successful press launch at the Caledonian Railway in Brechin, which was covered by STV News and was featured in various newspapers including the Courier and the Herald.
The House of Dun provided the venue on the 1st of November 2017 for our membership launch event. After a welcome from Vice Chair, Steve Moir, Fergus Watson from the Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group spoke about the challenges and successes his organisations had experienced over the past several years. His insight gave the fifty attendees an idea of the tasks facing the ATC as we start this journey. A talk on tourism statistics in Angus was given by Tereza Doksanka from STR was followed by a speech from Chair, Ann-Marie Black. She outlined the reasons behind the formation of the ATC and Secretary, Alison Elliott then spoke of the next steps the Cooperative would take and the potential membership benefits. A Q&A session revealed the passion that existed within the Angus based businesses to drive tourism and the need for the sector to have a private stakeholder led group to facilitate it.
A questionnaire was distributed to the attendees. Results of which can be accessed on the private members page.
On the 27th and 29th of November 2017 workshops were held at Angus House in Forfar and Murton Farm respectively. The purpose of the workshops was to bring new members together to identify objectives and decide which direction the ATC should take. Colin Smith of Glamis Consultancy was contracted to deliver the two sessions and provide a report on the findings. The report can be viewed on our private members page.
Councillor Lynne Devine wrote to Radio Scotland to help raise awareness of the Cooperative and off the back of that, Chair Ann-Marie Black and Board member Stuart Clark were interviewed on the Sunday morning ‘Out of Doors’ programme that broadcast on the 9th of December.
That took us to the end of the year and looking forward to developing the cooperative in 2018.