First seriously mooted by councillor Richard Brodie earlier this year, he wants to mimic the success of Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, by transforming Annan.
He said: “If we adopt the same model as Wigtown Book Festival – who would have thought that it would have been so successful? – then the year would centre around a one week/two week festival of events with talks, music, drama, film, art, sculpture – all which tell the story of Annan and all involving the community, businesses, churches, everyone.”
His vision encompasses a range of elements from increased signage and the creation of a visitor guide online and in print, to an overhaul of the Victoria Hall to include Annan’s Unique Solway Story, similar to Eastriggss The Devil’s Porridge, which he also helped develop.
There are also hopes that an official town app could be created and funding secured to employ a DG12 champion to lead projects and market the town.
Following successful town meetings to discuss a way forward, the History Town will be officially launched next Wednesday at 7 pm at Annan Town Hall.
Mr Brodie said: “The purpose of the meeting is to officially launch Annan as the History Town and adopt a constitution so that we can apply for funding to achieve our ambitions.
“The working group on developing Annan Town Trail has been working productively over the summer to collate all the wealth of history attached to Annan from the Romans who settled on the banks of the Annan, right through Bruce and Burns to present day.
“We hope to produce a much larger Town Trail Map, building on the excellent work done by Jim Hawkins, sadly-missed local historian.
“There is also scope for a book based on the highlights of Annan’s Heritage, using John Thomson’s research as a basis, in addition to new research.
“We are hoping that we get a good turn-out of local people and businesses interested in regenerating our town centre and bringing more visitors to our historic town.”