Economic development funding for Dumfries & Galloway

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement of economic development funding for Dumfries & Galloway projects, as part of a £2.1 million cash injection for South of Scotland projects.

The funding will support economic development in tourism, the business community and agricultural projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

In total, 28 projects will benefit from the funding through the new South of Scotland Economic agency (SoSE), supporting the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and helping to generate future job opportunities.

Dumfries & Galloway projects include:

Crichton Central (£833,127) to redevelop an existing building (Criffel View) on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries to create a business incubation facility – the first of its kind in Dumfries – for small and micro businesses.

Better Lives Partnership (£275,000) to increase its Bridge2Employment programme, which helps young people with autistic spectrum disorder to access supported learning opportunities and progress into work or further study.

Boyd Group (£65,000) to assist business expansion at Cargenbridge Industrial Estate, Dumfries.

Glenkens (£64,079) to create an interactive multi-media hub where young people, community groups and visitors can explore the area’s heritage, enhanced by digital technology; and help establish a range of business services that will generate income and sustain project activities going forward.

Livestock Holding Facilities (£59,600) to establish a livestock holding facility that will allow a range of local farmers to house their beasts, prior to transportation and processing. This aims to encourage co-operation to reduce costs.

Castle Douglas Community Centre (£23,599) to develop a computing and sound production facility, expanding the provision of IT skills and employability programmes for young people and the self-employed.

Wigtown Festival Company – a feasibility study funding of £20,000 to look at the potential to deliver a greater range of activities and events throughout the year to boost income from tourists and local community groups.

Sanquhar Post Office £20,000 for a feasibility study to explore the tourism potential of the property as well as assessing the possibility of the out buildings being used as business accommodation.

Farm Innovation for Cows & Co (£20,000) for a study for consideration of a ‘waste to energy’ power plant in a quarry environment to reduce energy costs for farmers and generate innovative business diversification activities.

A Regional Food Chain study to consider the creation of a centralised hub in Castle Douglas, supporting all aspects of food and drink innovation to enable micro businesses to compete for new markets.

And an additional feasibility study funding of £20,000 for Alternative Land Use analysis of whether it is possible to grow a range of alternative crops including energy, pharmaceutical, forestry and industrial crops, as well as field scale vegetables and salad crops, in the South, which is currently dominated by traditional farming and forestry.

And finally, a feasibility study for Littleton Farm AD Plant to seek whether the creation of an on-farm industrial estate (“agri-park”), powered by a commercial scale anaerobic digestion plant, converting farm waste into energy.

Ms Harper commented;

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s economic development funding for these projects in our South West region which have received part of the £2.1 million awarded across the South of Scotland.

“These projects will ascertain how to best capitalise on our strengths in this part of the country and the funding will create jobs, support businesses, develop skills, boost tourism, all vitally needed in South West Scotland as we begin our economic recovery from COVID-19.

”I look forward to connecting with the persons behind the projects and following progress”.

Background
The South of Scotland Economic Partnership was established to ensure the region benefitted from a fresh approach to economic development whilst the South of Scotland Enterprise agency was being established. The Partnership operated from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2020 and supported 58 economic development projects in total across the region on a broad range of themes. The projects announced today are the penultimate batch of projects approved for Scottish Government support through the partnership. Further support will be announced later this year.

Full list of projects and grants across South Scotland:

Crichton Central (£833,127) to redevelop an existing building (Criffel View) on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries to create a business incubation facility – the first of its kind in Dumfries – for small and micro businesses.

Better Lives Partnership (£275,000) to increase its Bridge2Employment programme, which helps young people with autistic spectrum disorder to access supported learning opportunities and progress into work or further study.

Abbotsford: Scott 250 (£220,000) support to develop the 250th anniversary programme to celebrate the birth of Sir Walter Scott and help deliver Abbotsford’s community engagement programme. The project aims to capitalise on heritage tourism to attract more visitors to the South of Scotland when it is safe to do so and to provide young people with volunteering and employment opportunities, building vital skills to support future careers.

Eardley Transport Hub (£200,000) creating a modern transport and logistics hub in Ecclefechan.

Supply Chain Peebles Energy (£65,000) to establish a business support network that will enable local construction businesses to become more adaptable, develop new skills/accreditation and expand their local operations.

Boyd Group (£65,000) to assist business expansion at Cargenbridge Industrial Estate, Dumfries.

Glenkens (£64,079) to create an interactive multi-media hub where young people, community groups and visitors can explore the area’s heritage, enhanced by digital technology; and help establish a range of business services that will generate income and sustain project activities going forward.

Livestock Holding Facilities (£59,600) to establish a livestock holding facility that will allow a range of local farmers to house their beasts, prior to transportation and processing. Aims to encourage co-operation to reduce costs.

Bubble Flo (£36,708) support to enable this entrepreneurial early stage business to manufacture a prototype of a child friendly physiotherapy medical device for the treatment of chronic lung conditions.

Town of 1000 Trails (£28,916) to develop an interactive digital hub to promote Hawick and the surrounding area as the “go to” destination for walking, cycling, running and horse riding.

Castle Douglas Community Centre (£23,599) to develop a computing and sound production facility, expanding the provision of IT skills and employability programmes for young people and the self-employed.

Feasibility Study – Wigtown Festival Company (£20,000) looking at the potential to deliver a greater range of activities and events throughout the year to boost income from tourists and local community groups.

Feasibility Study – Haining Trust Improvement Work (£20,000) to consider the creation of a visitor centre (at the site of where William Wallace was crowned Guardian of Scotland) and camping facilities.

Feasibility Study – Gunsgreen House Trust – Bellany Centre (£20,000) to consider the potential to develop a visitor centre in Eyemouth to enhance the visitor experience, providing meeting, learning and exhibition space.

Feasibility Study – Sanquhar Post Office (£20,000) the study will explore the tourism potential of the property as well as assessing the possibility of out buildings being used as business accommodation.

Feasibility Study – Thirlestane Castle (£20,000) to consider the regeneration of dilapidated stables into a creative centre for businesses, including workshops, retail space and office space, and a café in the courtyard.

Feasibility Study – Farm Innovation Cows & Co (£20,000) consideration of a waste to energy power plant in a quarry environment to reduce energy costs for farmers and generate innovative business diversification activities.

Feasibility Study – Regional Food Chain (£20,000) to consider the creation of a centralised hub in Castle Douglas, supporting all aspects of food and drink innovation to enable micro businesses to compete for new markets.

Feasibility Study – Alternative Land Use (£20,000) analysis of whether it is possible to grow a range of alternative crops including energy, pharmaceutical, forestry and industrial crops, as well as field scale vegetables and salad crops, in the South, which is currently dominated by traditional farming and forestry.

Feasibility Study – Littleton Farm AD Plant (£20,000) to consider the creation of an on-farm industrial estate (“agri-park”), powered by a commercial scale anaerobic digestion plant, converting farm waste into energy.

Feasibility Study – Border Union Agricultural Society (£20,000) to consider the development of the Border Union’s Springwood Park into a new “weather-proof” Border Events Centre and capture new income streams.

Feasibility Study – Winkston Hill Farm (£20,000) to consider the creation of an on-farm education and activity centre to educate teachers and parents about farming, whilst providing unique experiences to children. Not a standard farm park, but a “real life” taste of a working farm over the working year.

Feasibility Study – Paxton House (£18,000) to maximise visitor opportunities within the garden and grounds, and explore the potential development of lettable accommodation with the house and the grounds.

Feasibility Study – Castle Douglas Strategic Community Development Plan (£17,200) to look at how the community organisation can consolidate and enhance its activities to ensure future financial sustainability.

Feasibility Study – Ruberslaw Community Path Network (£11,500) to explore the potential to develop a community managed walking and cycling pathway to attract more visitors to the area as part of the active tourism offer.

Feasibility Study – Innerleithen Tourism (£10,000) a study to identify visitor services required in the Innerleithen area and maximise the appeal of the area’s active tourism offer (cycling, walking, outdoor sports).

Feasibility Study – Equestrian Tourism (£10,000) to investigate how to replicate the “Ride Scottish Borders” project in Dumfries & Galloway and form a riding route around some of the well-known “Big Houses” of the Borders.

Feasibility Study – Dormont Estate Business and Social Hub (£4,000) to assess the potential to develop facilities at the estate that will benefit the local community and enable local businesses to expand.