Time for Ellon to shake off the lethargy

It’s my opinion the whole Formartine area could not only learn, but benefit from the wonderful success story of our very own BrewDog who operate out of Ellon, while making a major impact on the international scene with a product which is sold and recognised worldwide.

So let’s hear it for the boys who have put Ellon on the map, and far from sitting back let us find ways to build on their enterprise in ways that ensure the town and indeed the area are kept to the forefront of international awareness.

Ellon has for too long sat on its hands, unfavourably compared to Inverurie over the years.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard it said that Inverurie is a volatile, outgoing, commercial town in stark contrast to dull, and unimaginative Ellon, I would be a very rich man, so once again I say, let’s do something to balance the books.

How about creating a town centre which would buzz with activity, though for that to happen it needs people and of course employment, for at the moment 63% of folk who work and live locally commute to Aberdeen, leaving it not unlike a ghost town during the day.

Had Aberdeenshire Council taken up the offer a number of years ago of developer Bill Bruce to build a new seat of administration attached to an upmarket hotel, we would now have a teeming town centre of some 500 or more public sector workers, all seeking to boost the local economy with their hard-earned cash.

But no, having turned the offer down, they made things worse by continuing to use a rundown office on the outskirts of Aberdeen away from commercial facilities.

So, in other words, if you want to see development don’t look to our council for leadership, more like mediocrity. The answer has of course to come from private enterprise, but even there the insistence of the public sector of having a place on the board has stifled growth on more than one occasion, just ask local entrepreneur Nick Child why he stood down as chairman of the Ellon Inititative.

I well remember his oft expressed frustration at the lack of action.

So where then do we go for the inspiration for the future? Perhaps the new Ellon Academy will provide a springboard, involving enterprising students and staff who want to take Ellon into the future, or as I have suggested before why not create a new position, or rather revive the post of provost who would head up a think tank, designed to generate growth in this staid, but rapidly-growing community before it is too late.

It certainly looks too late for Newburgh which is set to lose its Post Office, while little or no social provision is being provided for the village.