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£20m boost to refresh Dumfries

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
£20m boost to refresh Dumfries

A £20 million windfall is on the cards for Dumfries to help revive the town centre.

It is one of seven ‘overlooked’ Scottish towns to share £140 million levelling up funding from the UK Government.

The money will be released over ten years in an endowment style to invest in local people’s priorities.

And already ideas are flooding in from Dumfries residents, with bowling alleys, more shops, better roads and more entertainment opportunities proving popular.

The government wants to see long-term plans put in place, with town boards set up to oversee the project delivery.

Announcing the cash, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said: “Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.

“The result is the half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity – and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.

“That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, who is also Dumfries and Galloway MP, welcomed the money and said: “I look forward to seeing these towns – and the communities within them – use this investment to breathe new life into the places where they live, work and play.”

Also welcoming the funds, Councillor Gail Macgregor, leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “This funding will make a massive contribution to improving the long-term prospects for Dumfries – and secure its rich history and culture for generations to come.

“We all recognise the impact the closure of shops has had on the local high street, and we are confident that there is a bright future for Dumfries.”

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