In 1987 Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council (AVCC) had the vision of a sister community directly across the River Spey.
Rothiemurchus is the landowner and developer. We have been supporting the community vision and have engaged leading archictects, Gehl to work with the community and provided funding for consultants to take things forward to the present stage.
An Camas Mòr is not a conventional, profit-driven development. It has and always will have the community at its heart. Therefore we are applying for various funds and finance that can make the project viable and, more importantly, deliverable.
Why wait so long to turn a profit?
The vast majority of new housing in the UK is developed by house-building firms, looking to make a quick profit over 3 years, 5 at the most.
Rothiemurchus is a local employer and so our interests are fundamentally different from a developer; we are looking to sustain our business over the next century and beyond.
Whose interests do you serve?
We are interested in making sure our employees can afford to buy a local home and have the community facilities that support their well-being.
From a financial point-of-view, we are investing in the business space and community facilities that people need so that this can generate an income for our business in the future.
We plan to invest in small business space, that will encourage the local economy to flourish. We plan to do so in a way that ensures the natural environment on which local businesses depend, thrives.
Building a legacy
Rothiemurchus’ can be compared to the Grants of Grants, when they built Grantown more than 250 years ago to create local employment in the linen industry, or Cadburys when they built Bournville so their industrial workers could thrive in a ‘garden village’ with plenty of green space.
These businesses were not just interested in building new housing, they were making a community that could be passed down to future generations.
Balancing the books
We need to balance the books, and we have a robust plan to do so within 20 or 30 years. But, at Rothiemurchus we are used to waiting 120 years for the trees to grow, waiting for 20 to 30 years for a return on our investment in An Camas Mòr is but the blink of an eye.
To find out more about why it pays in the long-term to invest in community facilities or place-making, read this report on place making from the Estate agent Savills or this article about Poundbury in the Guardian.