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BID Chairman in Inverness Courier Feature "On My Doorstep"

In this week’s On My Doorstep feature, Craig Duncan, chairman of Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) and franchisee of McDonald’s in the city’s High Street expresses his love for the city and the Black Isle

How long have you lived in the Inverness area?

I moved here five years ago from the Angus area with my family to start our business. We’re the franchisees for McDonald’s, owning the restaurant on the High Street, as well as outlets in Fort William and Elgin but in effect we have been investing in the area for the last 20 years.

Best thing about living here?

Availability of outdoors sporting activities. I and my family hugely enjoy the opportunity to play golf, go horse riding and cycling with real ease and it has to be said a lot less expensive than other areas of Scotland. I’ve got to say that the lack of any real travel congestion in and around the city for me is a real positive as having travelled a lot in the Central Belt in a previous life the lack of traffic is very refreshing.

Worst thing about living here?

I can’t really think of a "worse thing" — perhaps the distance from family and friends further south.

One thing you would change about Inverness

Dualling the A9 would obviously ease the point above considerably. It would bring more people to the area, not to mention helping with the safety of the road.

Your favourite walk/cycle ride

Taking the dog along the beach at Rosemarkie, the views across the water are stunning. Cycling is fairly close to my heart as I do a fair amount of mountain biking so the "Red Rocks" trails on the Black Isle would have to be my favourite cycle route.

Describe your ideal Inverness weekend

Watching Caley Thistle beat either of the Old Firm sides in the Scottish Premier League or cup competitions — otherwise, and I hate to say it, but watching my team Motherwell beat Caley Thistle. This would be followed by a nice dinner with my wife and son in town on the Saturday night, then golf on Sunday at Castle Stuart.

Where would you take a first time visitor to the area?

The Black Isle because there’s so much to do and see. There are great walks, outstanding beaches, good pubs as well as some great villages to take time to explore.

Where’s the best place for a first date?

A bit past me this one! Sorry.

Favourite local restaurant?

You mean apart from my McDonald’s? It would have to be Café 1, always guaranteed a great welcome from Norman and his team.

Favourite shop?

Duncan Fraser’s Butchers — great old fashioned service and superb produce right in the heart of the city.

Your favourite local building, and why?

Inverness Town House because it is such an iconic city institution and focal point for the city centre.

Who is your favourite Invernessian, past or present, and why?

Not sure about favourite but I’d say I admire ex-provost Bill Fraser a lot having come into contact with him through the BID board, of which he is a director and I am chairman. His attention to detail is always impressive, he always puts Inverness first but still manages to drive an extremely successful Old Town business by leading from the front, which I find hugely impressive.

What is the area’s best kept secret?

The river front — why don’t we make more of it? It is probably one of the most impressive features of the city centre and the fact that it winds it’s way through the centre as it does is almost completely unique in the UK. Therefore as part of a wish list, could we as a city do more with it to make usage of the area easier?

How do you think Inverness is perceived by the rest of Britain?

The greatest "small city" in the UK, a friendly and entertaining place to visit that genuinely welcomes visitors.

How would you describe Inverness in a sentence?

A welcoming, friendly city which genuinely tries to cater for visitors and residents alike, a positive place to live.




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