The Grantown Society


Founded in 1974 as a local history group, membership is open to anyone interested in the aims of the Society, which are:
a) To locate sources of information regarding the development of the community.
b) To record this information and to make it available to the public and other interested parties.
c) To stimulate public interest in, and care of, the beauty, history, culture and character of the area of the town and its surroundings.
d) To encourage the conservation, development and improvement of features of general public amenity or historical interest.

The Society runs monthly meetings in the winter months as well as periodic events, walks and exhibitions.

The Grantown Society was registered as a Scottish Charity No SCO50104 on April 23rd 2020 and on Tuesday 19th May 2020, using video conferencing, the new board of trustees met for the first time and reviewed current activities.

Town Trail
In November 2019 the Society was awarded over £4,000 from the Co-op Community Fund to put in place town trail information plaques. Good progress has been made to secure site permissions and despite current conditions and the temporary closure of the production company (the Owen Kerr Group in Ayr) it is still hoped to have plaques in place by November 2020.

High Street Property
The Society has now successfully raised £11,800 from the Scottish Land Fund to investigate and build a case for asset acquisition on behalf of the community. Bryden Associates have been appointed to produce a full report, feasibility and sustainability studies and business case in order to submit a second bid for actual funding to buy property. The target property is the Bank of Scotland premises although we now do not know when or indeed if this will become available. The community would prefer this to remain as a bank but if this is not possible then the next best option is community ownership. We continue to bear in mind other options. Discussions are ongoing with local groups as to the best uses for the building to meet the needs of the community. Suggested uses include a community information resource and resilience hub, a business and education lounge, a model railway centre, a virtual tour and trail centre, a small co-operatively run business, and if possible some key worker accommodation. Full local consultation will refine this.

Active, Attractive and Accessible Grantown
Both the Society’s and the Community’s ongoing consultations have highlighted the need for more active, attractive, accessible and safer travel. Current lock-down generated empty roads have encouraged more walking and cycling. A bid to be part of Sustrans Places for Everyone project has been submitted by The Society with support from some 14 organisations. This is for early stage funding to create better and safer travel routes, to promote active travel balanced with better traffic management. The result will be known around the end of June 2020.

Fiddle Festival
This annual Society event cannot go ahead this year (2020) in its traditional format. However the small team involved in its organisation are contemplating some form of outdoor musical activities such as musical rambles, open air concert, High Street music making.

Winter Talks
This programme is another casualty of the current crisis. However, there are plans for alternative as well as live presentations

Research and Resources.
The Society owns and has access to a large collection of various resources. Funding for copying and cataloguing these has so far been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, work continues collecting and collating resources and using them for research projects, which include the creation of heritage trails, town centre shops, Ballintomb Ridge, WW1 visitor numbers and a health project partnered by a division of UHI Institute of Health Research and Innovation. As well as local organisations, The Society continues to work with the Scottish Civic Trust, The Scottish Local History Forum and Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

Conservation Area Management Plan
A steering group led by the Society and including representatives from the Community Council and the two planning authorities met and there is a need to progress with this work. Acceptance of a management plan will eventually, hopefully lead to further town centre funding.

Partnership arrangements
To move into the post Covid “new normal”, to build on the current wonderful community resilience and co-operation, to rebuild the local economy and to reinvest in promotion and infrastructure for tourism, to develop and enhance our heritage and culture, and to protect services, Grantown’s communities need to work together and create a shared vision and an action plan. There is an overwhelming need for a Grantown Forum and the Society is happy to play a part in this. The Society continues to work with Destination 66 to create a unified social media platform for Mid-Strathspey. Cupar in Fife has led the way in creating a Digital Improvement District and now has a strong post-Covid regeneration model which we would like to emulate.

The Square
The board of the new charity expressed appreciation of the great work being done by the Grantown in Bloom team and the Community Council and this should be more widely publicised. Felling the dead trees in the Square, which was raised by he Society with Highland Council Officers in November 2017 has still not been done despite various promises. The Society’s sculpture, the “Quoit” currently languishes behind a garden shed in Woodside Avenue.


+44 (0)7709 270044


Bill Sadler
Chairman and Grantown 250 lead co-ordinator
+44 (0)7709 270044

Events List

Date Title Town/City
16 November, 2018 - 19:30 Talk - Strathspey Farmers' Club Grantown-on-Spey
19 October, 2018 - 19:30 Illustrated Talk on Ballindalloch Grantown-on-Spey
21 September, 2018 - 19:30 Place Names around Grantown Grantown-on-Spey
15 September, 2017 (All day) Richard Waitt: New Perspectives on Culture and Context Grantown on Spey
20 January, 2017 - 19:30 Eighteenth Century Textiles Grantown on Spey
18 November, 2016 - 19:45 Reading Grantown Houses Grantown on Spey
21 October, 2016 - 19:30 The Last Engine Driver Grantown on Spey
16 September, 2016 - 19:30 Highland Games - Glengarry 1816: Grantown 1838 Grantown on Spey
22 June, 2016 (All day) Grantown 2016 Festival Grantown
22 June, 2016 (All day) Georgian Planned Village Tour Grantown on Spey
18 March, 2016 - 19:30 A Walk Around Grantown Through Old Photographs Grantown on Spey
19 February, 2016 - 19:30 Telling Tales Grantown on Spey