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Dumfries and Galloway has been granted £1,529,000 from the Scottish Government’s new
£50 million Scottish Town Centre Fund. This fund has been put together to stimulate Town Centre economies and is distributed to every local authority in Scotland. Allocations are dependent on the number of towns in a local authority area with a population equal or greater than 1,000 people, and the region’s population.
This Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee (EEI) (14 May) will hear a report on the aim of the 2019-2020 Fund, which is to stimulate economic growth and encourage the diversity to help town centre’s flourish by increasing footfall. It can also be used to deliver the themes of this Council’s Town Centre Action Plan, which could include town centre living and re-purposing buildings for housing, retail, business, social and community enterprise, services, leisure and culture, tourism and heritage and improving access and infrastructure.
The grant is only to be used for ‘shovel ready’ initiatives and is not available to be used for existing projects but allocation of this award could help applications to other external funding bodies.
Chair of EEI, Archie Dryburgh commented: “This welcome grant will create further opportunities which will enable us to start a greater number of projects under the umbrella of our Town Centre Action Plan. We want to see our Town Centres return to the vibrant hub of our communities, but in these changing times this could mean taking a different approach and repurposing buildings and altering the current use of some premises to better suit the needs of the public.”
Vice Chair, Andrew Wood said: “This grant will also allow us to apply for further funding on the basis that some of the investment is already in place for projects. This should encourage further investment from stakeholders and businesses in other projects when the see the economic difference it will make to our towns.”