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New town chair reveals his vision

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
New town chair reveals his vision

BRINGING Dumfries ‘back to life’ is the main aim of the new town board chair Richard Nicoll.

The businessman, who was born and bred in the town and is also an army veteran, was this week selected for the role by members of the Nithsdale Area Committee, beating three others.

He will be tasked with overseeing the spending of £20 million locally from the UK Government over the next ten years.

But his first job will be to build the rest of the board, which will also include Councillors David Slater and Maureen Johnstone who have been chosen to represent the local authority.

The rest of its composition will be up to Mr Nicoll, but hopes have been expressed that he will invite some of his fellow nominees to take part.

Reacting to his appointment, Mr Nicoll, 46, yesterday said: “As a passionate Doonhamer it is an absolute honour to be able to represent Dumfries and its people, so I am delighted to have been voted as the chair of Dumfries Town Board.

“My immediate focus once everything is finalised is to sit down and build a board so we can get to work creating our long term strategic plan by the start of August.

We shall be focused on three focal points: the safety and security of our people; High Street regeneration; and transport connectivity and accessibility.”

To achieve this, he believes community engagement is paramount and he added: “I will also move quickly to establish a suitable space in the high street where our townsfolk can highlight their concerns and ideas for the board to take for further discussion.

“If we then as a board can deliver a clean, ecological town centre that is accessible for all, where people feel safe and businesses confident to trade, then we are on the right track.

“Our Queen of the South is a little jaded, let’s bring her back to life.”

Father-of-two Mr Nicoll is managing director of EcoClean Solutions and the operations director of Environmental Business Solutions.

He was named Employer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2022 Scottish Veteran Business Awards.

His other roles are on the board of directors for DG Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Queen of the South Tanner Fund.

It’s expected he will serve three years initially as the town board chair.

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