The Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan (LDP) adopted in March 2015 designated Cairndow a ‘Key Rural Settlement’. This indicated a community that had potential for sustainable economic growth based on the availability of land for new housing, the range of local services present and the availability of employment.
As a result of the designation Cairndow Community Council decided to start the process of preparing a Community Village Plan. At the same time Here We Are gained funding support from Strengthening Communities to work on a plan for the Cairndow Community. So Here We Are and Cairndow Community Council agreed to take forward a joint approach to the development of the Community Plan.
Cairndow is in the Cowal Ward of Argyll and Bute Council. In recent years the community has faced challenges common for many Highland areas – the decline of traditional rural industries, an increase in tourism and holiday home ownership, and outward migration of young people who leave to find homes and jobs.
However, in 2015 Cairndow supported about 30 businesses employing around 265 people. In recent years developments such as Loch Fyne Oysters, Here We Are, The Tree Shop, Fyne Ales and Ardkinglas Woodland Garden have helped to attract over 130,000 visitors a year.
The outcome of the consultation on the Plan were the following priorities for action, of which those * have been achieved by 2021.
*Community Play Park
Improved Internet Access
Affordable Housing for Rent
Small Business Units