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Cash boost for Old School project

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By Abbey Morton
Front
Cash boost for Old School project

PLANS for Lockerbie Old School have taken a huge leap forward - with the allocation of up to £775k.

The sum, from the Economic Development Asset Class Capital Programme, was agreed by councillors at Tuesday’s meeting of the Economy and Resources Committee.

And the £774,755 funding will contribute to securing the £6.4 million required to deliver the Lockerbie Wellbeing Centre Project.

The project looks to tranform the 140-year-old vacant former Dryfesdale School building, to establish a hub for the community, which will provide employment, learning and social activity space for the local community, plus eight assisted living affordable housing units for people with complex physical and/or intellectual disabilities developed by Cunninghame Housing Association.

It is hoped the premises will also act as a ‘pump primer’ for further regeneration of Lockerbie, and help build ‘strong and effective community networks’.

A report prepared ahead of Tuesday’s meeting included details from the Scottish Public Health Observatory that Lockerbie residents, on average, live closer to a derelict building than the average person in Scotland.

It read: “These findings measure the population within 500m of a derelict site and it showed that in 2017 Lockerbie came out with a figure of 33.1 compared to the Scottish average of 29.8 which shows that Lockerbie is worse than the comparator.

“Since 2014 the LOS group have commissioned a range of studies and consultations and have had consistent feedback regarding local concerns over the continued dereliction and decline of the building and how negatively this continues to impact the community.

“In addition to this, evidence of need research has shown that in addition to the underlying town centre regeneration issues that Lockerbie – like so many other traditional market towns – faces, there is a pattern of poor health – such as poor mental and physical health that is affecting the community, while Covid-19 has disproportionately affected the community.”

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