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The Communities Leading in Tourism programme was a pilot initiative funded by HIE and SOSE and delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy supported by SKS. Carron was brought in as the tourism specialist and has provided the main tourism content for the programme  assisting James Hilder in the delivery of each 12 week cohort.  There have been 5 cohorts - with the first being face-to-face and the next 4 impacted by Covid19 and delivered on-line.  This personal development programme combines tourism and leadership skills and awareness.  Over 85 people have participated.

In 2021 Carron worked with some of the participants to secure a £60k tourism leadership and recovery grant from the government to scope out and ultimately establish SCOTO - the Scottish Community Tourism network.  This was successfully launched in April 2022 to provide peer to peer learning and support, consumer marketing and specialist support services.


In summer 2018 Carron was appointed by VisitScotland to advise and support the South of Scotland Tourism Leadership Group which brought together Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership and Visit South West Scotland.  Carron subsequently supported TEAM Tourism to undertake a market assessment of the South of Scotland Experience for South of Scotland Economic Partnership which concluded in April 2019.  She facilitated a summit in July 2019 and Carron then facilitated the establishment of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance in May 2020 and helped coordinate a five-year programme focused on destination development and marketing specifically tackling the impacts  of Coronavirus on the tourism industry.   The funding bid to the newly formed South of Scotland Enterprise agency was successful in June 2020 and is now being rolled out.  She was invited to and has undertaken the role of Interim Chair of SSDA Ltd in the formative weeks.  Carron continues to provide support to the Board as they recruit their first CEO and develop the SSDA's strategic framework.


In Autumn 2017 ruralDimensions, on behalf of AITC,  coordinated a bid for funding from HIE to bring together several west coast destination groups under an umbrella to scope out Marine Tourism product development possibilities across the West Coast of Scotland in readiness for 2020 the Year of Coasts and Water.  18 groups are involved and ten local agents were appointed. An asset mapping exercise has been concluded and inventories prepared for over 295 sites across the west coast from Lewis to Arran.  Product development ideas have been scoped out based on the regions strengths and points of differentiation and various funding proposals have been progressed with a major campaign now being progressed - West Coast Waters - involving all the DMOs, a maximum growth fund grant from VisitScotland, and funding from Calmac, Scotrail, WildScotland, UHI/Capiten and Argyll & Bute Council. WWW.WESTCOASTWATERS.CO.UK

In summer 2020 ruralDimensions working with Lateral North were appointed by UHI as coordinator of the Coast that Shaped the World - an ambitious 2 year project spanning the west coast of Scotland which is seeking to gather stories from every community and to narrate these digitally to encourage visitors to experience these first hand and explore the roads less travelled. A team of 32 local story gatherers have been appointed and story gathering is currently underway.  WWW.COAST.SCOT 


Since 2012 Carron has been providing firstly project management and latterly development management services to the Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative.  AITC represents 11 marketing groups from across Argyll & The Isles and was set up as a delivery vehicle for the Argyll & The Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership.   Carron has been responsible for project managing the initial 'stronger together' branding and promotion initiative, then their Capacity Building programme and most recently their leadership and product development programme 2017-2020. Carron authored the local tourism strategy Tourism Argyll & The Isles 2020.  She then  masterminded and project managed Wild About Argyll 2016-2017 and then coordinated the twin destination Heart & Soul of Scotland Campaign with People Make Glasgow. 


Over recent years she led the development of the Taste of Place Trails, the People Powered Adventures campaign (focused on sustainable and responsible travel across the region) and most recently the delivery of Above and Below - a green recovery pilot funded by NatureScot focused on the outstanding marine and celestial environments of Argyll.


In June 2017 ruralDimensions working with Morrocco Media were commissioned by Visit Scotland to create a series of films of Mark Beaumont cycling around Scotland and included a 16 hour day filming Mark's final training ride prior to his epic World Record challenge to cycle Around the World in 80 Days.  The route was planned by ruralDimensions and was 250 miles coast to coast starting at Tayinloan Pier in Argyll and finishing at Aberdeen Harbour.  ruralDimensions have also provided  support in setting up the charitable giving dimension of Mark's incredible World Record. 


In summer 2016 ruralDimensions, on behalf of Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative, coordinated an epic 12 day adventure across the region for endurance athlete and broadcaster Mark Beaumont.  Mark was accompanied by a 3-man adventure film crew on a journey covering every corner of this stunning west coast region. Mark undertook 12 different sports from cycling and mountain biking to running and wild swimming, kayaking, horse-riding, sailing, rowing, cliff jumping and quad biking.   The films were core to a year long #WildAboutArgyll marketing campaign funded by VisitScotland, Argyll & Bute Council and AITC in 2017.


Working with the Outer Hebrides Tourism CIC and the tourism industry partners ruralDimensions facilitated a series of workshops to help the industry prepare their own response to the national tourism strategy.  The strategy was presented in the form of a 'rocket' and has since been adopted by the Scottish Tourism Alliance and wider industry as  the model for all destination and sectoral TS2020 strategies.   An action plan has since been progressed on the Outer Hebrides with priority initiatives including Eat Drink Hebrides Food Trail and The Hebridean Way.  In 2017/18 ruralDimensions supported the development of the Marine Tourism Strategy for the Outer Hebrides.



In March 2016 ruralDimensions, on behalf of the Outer Hebrides Tourism CIC, coordinated the launch of the Hebridean Way cycle route with Mark Beaumont endurance athlete undertaking an epic challenge to cycle the 185 mile route across 10 different islands in a day. The filming started with Mark landing on Barra beach and then traveling to the start point on Vatersay.   This was successfully achieved and captured on film by the hugely talented Stefan Morrocco of Morrocco Media working with Kieran Duncan and Euan Ryan. The route was formally launched at the end of the ride at the new Harris Distillery in Tarbert. 



In 2014 ruralDimensions was appointed as a subconsultant to the CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture to progress the central section of the A9 Dualling Programme.  The Central Section runs from Glen Garry to Dalraddy and consists of 3 projects each with significant environmental challenges.  Carron's role is to work with the local landowners, businesses and communities along the corridor to ensure information is readily available and feedback is invited at key stages in the project's development. Draft Orders haver now been published for each project on the central section.   Carron



In Autumn 2016 ruralDimensions working with Morrocco Media and Aerial Frontiers were commissioned by Sustrans Scotland to create a film of Mark Beaumont cycling the Sustrans routes around the central belt of Scotland to promote how easy it is to explore by bike.   The filming took place across the central belt in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and used Sustrans Routes to visit key attractions such as the Kelpies, the Forth & Clyde Canal, Loch Katrine, Loch Lomond & The Trosschs National Park and the Falls of Dochart in Killin.  The film was launched in June 2017


Working jointly with Virginia Sumsion of Food from Argyll, Carron helped coordinate the delivery of Taste for Tourism, a national conference in the Year of Food & Drink 2015 considering 'has Scotland got what it takes to be a global food tourism destination?' The 3 day event included two 'flavour tours' bringing delegates to Oban for the main conference.  Carron devised and hosted the itinerary for the west coast tour.


Working jointly with Fiona Robertson of Streets UK and Julie Anne Kitt, Carron developed the innovative Canal College Heritage training programme which was successful in securing Heritage Lottery Funding in 2013.  The programme has gone on to win awards and has been developed further by Scottish Waterways TRust with many young people benefitting and securing longer term emloyment using heritage skills.


​A summary of the ruralDimensions wider project portfolio:

  • Supporting the Badenoch Great Places Project Board as Transport Scotland's A9 representative

  • Facilitating a programme of six workshops seeking industry engagement and input on Beyond 2020 - the next national tourism strategy for Scotland 

  • Supporting the South of Scotland Tourism Leadership Group and support to Team Tourism in devising the initial Destination Development plan

  • Developing a tourism and visitor management plan for the Lorn Islands Partnership

  • Providing stakeholder engagement support to The Creative Cell for the Dumbarton Waterfront interpretation plan 

  • coordinating a scoping study for the West Coast Marine Tourism Collaboration on behalf of AITC which is bringing together 18 DMO interests 

  • Developing a marine tourism strategy and action plan for the Outer Hebrides

  • Assisting in setting up the charity giving dimension of Mark Beaumont's Around the World in #80Days World Record Challenge in Summer 2017

  • Developing an options appraisal for a bunkhouse facility near Claonaig for the Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust

  • Supporting Fiona Robertson of Streets UK in the development of MAi – the Mid Argyll Initiative aiming to establish a MAi-Fund from investment in renewables and MAi-Plan to focus investment

  • Working with the Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Heritage Tourism Group to develop the strategic framework and action plan for Heritage Tourism as part of Tourism Scotland 2020.

  • Supporting the development of the business plan for the newly formed Discover Scottish Gardens 

  • Working with the National Tree Collections of Scotland to develop an ambitious cluster project for Argyll celebrating the champion trees and outstanding collections concentrated around Cowal, Loch Fyne, Bute and Loch Lomond.

  • Supporting Rosemount Development Trust in exploring a major community celebration ‘Inspire Royston 2014’ marking 25 years of working  with the local community.

  • Supporting the Aberdeen City and Shire Area Tourism Partnership to develop their tourism action plan

  • Providing stakeholder engagement and management support to Strath Cualaidh on the strategic Monadhlaith Deer Management Plan

  • Facilitating the development of an Arts Strategy for the Crinan Canal.

  • Providing fundraising support to Scottish Canals for their Stage 2 Coastal Communities bid for Bowling Basin.

  • Providing project management support to the Scottish Tourism Alliance for the action plan for Tourism Scotland 2020 which was launched in March 2013 – with a focus on supporting the Destination, Towns & Cities and Nature, Heritage & Activities working groups.

  • Providing project management support to the umbrella Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative Ltd which represents the many marketing associations operating within Argyll.  A particular focus was on delivering the Argyll & the Isles Tourism Summit 2013; attending EXPO 2013, project managing their new website which was launched in March 2013, coordinating a 2 week roadshow of local workshops in Autumn 2013 and delivering the design and printing of nearly a million new area and themed leaflets

  • Working closely with Kevin Murray Associates on the National Trust for Scotland’s signature project at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran

  • Coordinating the £150k heARTofARGYLL festival programmes in 2012 and 2013 in partnership with Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, Artmap Argyll and Kilmartin Museum – which received substantial investment from Creative Scotland

  • Providing fundraising support to The Waterways Trust Scotland for the ambitious Helix Project in Falkirk

  • Progressing the first phase of the Argyll Forest Tourism Project which is being jointly funded by FCS and LEADER and which included 10 cluster workshops throughout the area and a highly informative leaflet entitled ‘Nature’s Paradise’

  • Providing fundraising support to the Glasgow Paddlesports Centre project on the Forth & Clyde Canal at Pinkston Basin

  • coordinating a celebratory 'Grow Forth' Food Summit in 2012  for the Stirling area on behalf of Forth Environment Link and partners

  • piloting and developing the innovative ‘Brighter St Andrews’ visitor payback scheme for the St Andrews Partnership in association with James Fraser

  • dacilitating the establishment of and then coordinating the Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance which was formally launched in March 2011 by Dr Michael Cantlay, Chair of Visitscotland

  • coordinating the annual Crinan Canal Water Festival which took place each year for 5 years from 2010 to 2014 and which is a legacy of the Discover  Dalriada 2010 festival programme

  • Supporting the Eglinton Growers Community Allotments Scheme in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire which recently received a major lottery award and is now on site

  • preparing a feasiblity study and outline business case for the development of a much needed new visitor hub at Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon in Argyll

  • collaborating with local tourism businesses in Mid Argyll to develop a destination management & marketing plan on behalf of the Dalriada Project which led to the establishment of  ‘Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance’

  • coordinating the delivery of Discover Dalriada 2010 –  a programme of celebratory events to mark the completion of the Dalriada Project in from 17 July to 1 August 2010. The events package includes Tai chi on Dunadd Fort, Professor Hazelnuts Wood Lab in Knapdale, The Dunadd Footsteps Festival with the celebrated Walking Theatre Company, and finishing with the Crinan Canal Water Festival with the first ever Dalriada Dragon Boat Challenge.

  • supporting the delivery of a package of community led events in Callander as part of the Scottsland 2010 programme marking the bicentenary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s epic verse ‘the Lady of the Lake’. The events include ‘Words in Windows’ with Callander Enterprise, the ‘Soaring above the Trossachs Kite Festival’ with Callander Primary School and a candlelit evening ‘Spreading the Word’ of Scott at the Roman Camp Country House Hotel.

  • supporting the early planning and development of the UK Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA) annual conference in 2010 on Loch Lomondside.

  • overseeing the development of planning guidance on small scale hydro power schemes within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park as part of a wider project on renewables linked to the new Local Plan

  • coordinating the development of a strategic flood risk assessment of the settlement of Callander in collaboration with MNV Consulting and linking in with the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Local Development Plan

  • supporting the development of RECI – the River Enrick Catchment Initiative – which is a community based project on the River Enrick, Loch Ness led by GULUP – the Glen Urquhart Land Use Partnership

  • performing the role of project coordinator for the Bowmont-Glen Catchment Initiative in collaboration with MNV Consulting and on behalf of the Tweed Forum

  • supporting the delivery of the pilot Chef’s Marketplace at Monachyle Mhor as part of the wider FEASTS initiative aimed at bringing Scotland’s farm, fish and food sectors much closer together

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