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Jamie to help communities shape their future

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By Fiona Reid
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Jamie to help communities shape their future

A NEW community officer role has been created to help groups across Dumfriesshire East develop projects and apply for funding.

The area benefits from funds from three different windfarms – Ewe Hill, Solwaybank and Minsca – with more funds in the pipeline as the Crossdykes development reaches completion and further windfarms are planned.

And the new post has been established in response to community consultation feedback where more than 80 per cent of respondents agreed with having a shared community officer to move projects forward.

Jamie Dent has been taken up the position and is working with local organisations to make the most of the funding and find other sources to develop innovative community projects that have the potential to transform the region, improve community life, and help ensure a sustainable future for rural communities.

He said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to develop a broad range of community projects from small, but important, improvements such as better local play facilities to larger projects such as renewable energy, transport and housing.

“By making the best use of funds from windfarms and other sources, I hope to be able to assist local people in transforming their communities to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

“The recent community consultation undertaken by DECBG and available online shows there are no shortage of ambitious ideas. My role will be to help turn these ideas into reality.”

His job is funded by ScottishPower Renewables’ Ewe Hill windfarm and company spokeswoman Siobhan Jarvie said: “Being a good neighbour and supporting our communities is a big part of what we do and the new community officer will help all the local windfarm developers do this to maximum effect.”

Jamie, who has a background as a planner and many years experience working to develop community-led affordable rural housing projects in Dumfries and Galloway, is currently contacting community councils and organisations to arrange meetings and discuss ideas. To contact him, call 07391 618359 or email [email protected]

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