County Down-based property firm property investment and development firm Wirefox purchased the Southergate Centre in September last year, and are now at work converting a former bank in English Street, next to Boots.
Hailing plans for another new restaurant in the centre of Dumfries, Matt Baker from The Stove Network said: “At the moment what we have is a monoculture of predominantly out-of-town global chain stores, and we need other levels of resilience in the town and things to fall back on.
“Because at the moment if retail struggles everything dies.”
Noting people constantly ask where they can eat in the town centre, he added: “People say it’s a terrible night-time culture of drinking, and the more stuff that is family friendly and there’s a diversity that’s not just about drinking in the social offer then you start to create a more humane and compassionate town centre for everybody which works towards it being somewhere people want to live.”
Wirefox announced plans for a ‘family restaurant’ after the sale of the Southergate Centre went through.
Director of asset management Michael Wright said: “We have exciting plans for a change of use to the current nightclub, whose owner is in administration, and an attractive former listed bank on the site.”
An application has been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council to convert the former Bank of Scotland building, which is listed as a Category B and includes notable attractive features.
It said: “We are seeking planning approval to change the use of the former bank with associated stores, offices and rear yard to a restaurant with external alfresco dining and children’s play area.”
Permission has already been granted for another former bank in the centre of Dumfries to become a restaurant.
In January, Kitchcap (Abbey) Ltd were granted permission to convert the former Santander branch at 126-132 High Street.