Minutes 2 March 2022

Public report directors meeting Dufftown & Mortlach Development Trust
Present: Eleanor Candy (chair), Norma Hunter, Gillian McGarthland (treasurer), Siebette Wester (secretary), Anne Jan Zandstra

WANTED: The DMDT and Mortlach Church plan to organise an Easter egg hunt together.We are requesting volunteers to help! Please reply if you have a few hours to help with preparations or on the day.

In the directors meeting of 2 March 2022 the following items were discussed:

  1. The minutes of the previous meeting on 24 January were approved by all present.
  2. We have received no new membership application leaving total membership at 66 members – 52 ordinary members and 14 associate members.
  3. We acknowledged the importance of the volunteers that have helped us throughout the past year with our projects, especially the monthly markets. On 5 March we’ll organise a little get together with food and drinks to show our appreciation.
  4. The Council has released 6 Draft Improvement Plans for villages in Moray; Dufftown being one of them. A few directors from the Trust have spoken with 2 council officers to learn more about the plans. It turns out the Council expects local organisations to take on the projects and arrange funding/grants. The Council is willing to help with contacts and smoothing processes within the Council. The Council has no budget or project capacity to take on any of the ideas proposed.
  5. Tourism agenda: with the lightening of Covid restrictions, we are already seeing increased footfall in and around Dufftown, and as such we would like to hold an open meeting with local businesses and traders to discuss whether there is a desire to create content and develop a strategy for the promotion of Dufftown in a tourism capacity. This meeting will be held on Sunday 20th March, invitations to be send out shortly.
  6. We discussed the operational details for the next Market on 12 March at the Royal British Legion. We keep trying to find more fresh produce providers but not many available locally. We have more than enough stall holders selling art & craft inside the hall.
  7. Whisky festival 2022: the DMDT is organising a Ceilidh Night at the Commercial Hotel. They will provide stovies, we have hired Broma Ceilidh band. The Gables Whisky B&B is organising a whisky/food pairing with Tomintoul Distillery, all profits to go to the DMDT. To further raise funds we’ll do a raffle or fun game during the Ceilidh Night. Further details to discuss later. Ticket sales go live on 4 March.
  8. Pictish stones: DMDT and Mortlach Kirk will continue to work on this without involvement of Truerlein. Proposals to relocate the large stone in the graveyard inside to be showcased alongside the Elephant stone and other artefacts within the church was discussed. Any plans need to be approved by the General Trustees Church of Scotland as they own the church and stones.
  9. KDR: due to personal circumstances they have paused their strategic plan. They do want to meet with us to discuss ideas at some point in the future. We will stay in touch with them.
  10. Public toilets Mortlach Memorial Hall carpark: we are in touch with the council and Visit Moray Speyside on how to proceed.
  11. Paths: Grant from Dorenell for upgrading paths has come in. Waiting for contractor to start the works, no date received yet but aiming at spring. To place a storyboard at the Mortlach Church we’ll need to ask special Council permission as it is in the cemetery. The session of Mortlach Kirk needs to give their approval as well. Further actions:

Contact Glenfiddich about upgrading the part of the Gordon’s Cross path that is on their land.
Contact Diageo to arrange for an engineer to survey the bridge, then get a quote from a contractor and apply for funding with Dornell.

Date and time of next meeting: Monday 28 March, 7PM.