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Portsoy Community Enterprise drives forward vision with twin appointments


By Chris Saunderson

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A CHARITY which promotes the culture and heritage of Banffshire and Aberdeenshire has appointed two members of staff to help place its area firmly on the tourist map.

Portsoy Community Enterprise (PCE) is strengthening its vision to increase sustainable social and economic regeneration with the appointment of Richard Thorne as its first development manager.

Richard Thorne and Esther Green have been welcomed aboard Portsoy Community Enterprise.
Richard Thorne and Esther Green have been welcomed aboard Portsoy Community Enterprise.

Mr Thorne, who joins PCE from the Mull and Iona Community Trust, will be responsible for delivering a strong and viable future for the organisation. He will focus on developing PCE’s assets including Portsoy Links Caravan Park, The Sail Loft Bunkhouse, The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, The Salmon Bothy and The Boatshed, while identifying new areas of activity.

Meanwhile, ex-journalist and communications specialist Esther Green, who lives in Keith, comes on board as marketing co-ordinator. She will be responsible for implementing essential promotional support in an expanded ‘Destination Portsoy’ programme.

While PCE has funding in place to run and manage its assets, the board is keen to ensure their safe future by becoming financially stable and reducing the requirement for public funding.

The organisation also needs to become less reliant on its volunteer board. By strengthening its business development and marketing team, PCE aims to become financially sustainable for the longer term.

Mr Thorne said: “Portsoy Community Enterprise has done a huge amount of work to develop the heritage and tourism potential of the area. This is a solid platform to build on, and I’m pleased to be joining the team, bringing fresh ideas and impetus at such an important time in its development.”

What was intended to be a one-off event to mark the 300th anniversary of Portsoy’s historic harbour in 1993, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival acted as a catalyst for a range of other ambitious community-based developments that come under the umbrella of PCE.

In addition to the boat festival which draws in thousands of visitors every year, PCE’s Boatshed supports the teaching of traditional maritime skills while its Salmon Bothy provides a base for a museum and cultural learning opportunities.

The caravan park and Sail Loft bunkhouse offer a mix of quality accommodation for visitors.

David Urquhart, chairman of PCE said: ‘The directors are delighted to welcome Richard and Esther to our organisation, and we all look forward to working with them and supporting the anticipated developments for the long-term future of the enterprise. The focus will be on achieving successful social and economic regeneration in a viable way and sharing the incredible experiences and facilities that Portsoy boasts with a wider audience.”



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