Nairn Access Panel Projects: making the beach, station, countryside and town accessible to everyone

Nairn Access Panel has been working on providing an access platform at Nairn’s central beach with a ramp to the sand. They raised over £100k for the creation of a scenic path to the harbour pier, which is nearly completed and only requires to install accessible bench and picnic table.

The Access Panel has also designed accessible bench and picnic table for the route which is being constructed by a local environmental charity. Moreover, it successfully lobbied for step-free access at the railway station with the planning permission already granted.

With great steps towards making Nairn more accessible come great challenges as well. The access platform has been an ongoing project since 2019. It raised funding to complete the project and worked with the Highland Council to deliver it. The initial stage of the work was completed earlier in 2023, but the quality of work was extremely poor, to the point that the Access Panel is now redesigning it and preparing to rectify the construction.

For 2024, Nairn Access Panel is planning an opening ceremony for the scenic path around Easter time, also redesigning and delivering the access platform. Other projects concern planning of the embankment above the access platform to provide an inclusive picnic area.

Proving more accessible access points to the beach to enable a recently formed ‘Beach Wheelchair’ group to access the beach is also on the agenda. Following the granting of planning permission, Nairn Access Panel will continue to pursue the building of a new bridge at the railway station to enable step-free access.

Finally, a lot of work is planned to be done improving more countryside paths and infrastructure in general. For example, collaboration with the Highland Council aims to remedy the mistakes made on a recent new build in the town centre. The Access Panel is also working with AMEY (engineering company) to bring the public footpaths up to standard. And last but not least, the group will be relining all the public carparks to provide safer accessibility and more accessible spaces.