Dumfries Town Board meets key partners in preparation for long-term improvement plan

The new Dumfries Town Board has reached out to a number of key partners in the town as it prepares its long-term improvement plan.

The public body has been set up to help ensure that the £20m levelling-up funding from the UK Government is wisely spent in the town over the next 10 years.

Board chairman Richie Nicol and two members, Campbell Young and John Dowson, with help from Simon Jones, have begun by paying a series of visits and starting conversations with Robin Wishart of Loreburn Community Council and Dumfries Partnership Action Group; Mark Jardine MBE, businessman and founder of The People’s Project; and Peter Kormylo and Robert Richmond of The Midsteeple Quarter.

Mr Wishart gave Richie and the rest of the town board an open invitation to attend the community council’s meetings and to meet with DPAG.

Richie explained that the town board “should be a clutch, bringing the different gears – the many excellent projects in the town that are now working separately – together to become more effective”.

It was agreed that cleaning up the town centre should be a priority.

Mark Jardine is one of the people who make a great contribution to picking up litter in the town and is very supportive of the board’s ambition to quickly improve the cleanness of Dumfries.

Members agreed that his “wealth of knowledge and experience in making Dumfries a wonderful place shone through the conversation”.

Midsteeple Quarter is also thinking along the same lines as the Dumfries Town Board and want to help it succeed with Mr Kormylo telling them: “If we can help you, you’re going to get our help.”

It was agreed that a follow up meeting would be held to see if the Midsteeple Quarter can find a short term home for the town board which would enable them to welcome Dumfries residents into a shop premises on the High Street to give their views about how to make “a great town fantastic”.

The other board members are: Billy Currie of Dumfries & Galloway College; Kenny Bowie of D&G Chamber of Commerce; Lisa Callender-Bone of Include Us; retired councillor Tom McAughtrie; publican and restaurant owner Jamie Milligan; retired police sergeant Dale Graham; Rosefield Mills Gallery CIC director Laura Thomas; Summerhill Community Centre manager AnneMarie Coulter MBE and Guid Nychburris Association chairman John Caskie MBE.

Also on the board are councillors David Slater and Maureen Johnstone as well as MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack and the local policing commander for Police Scotland Dumfries and Galloway.