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Town ambassador in bid to lure back tour buses

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West
Town ambassador in bid to lure back tour buses

TOUR buses are bypassing Dumfries — instead heading to Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright.

That is one of the issues town centre ambassador Lorraine Wilson says she aims to tackle as she works to make the town a more appealing place to visit.
Lorraine said: “I’ve been working with some tour companies to try and get some tour buses in, or find out why they’ve stopped coming to Dumfries.
“We’re finding a lot of them are starting to go to Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright and the Gatehouse area, but they miss out Dumfries.”
She added: “They’re coming from the Gretna and Carlisle area, right through.”
Lorraine took up her post in October, with Dumfries and Galloway Council providing money to match the £6000 contributed by The People’s Project.
And her initial six-month contract has now been extended to September.
Addressing a meeting of Loreburn Community Council on Tuesday, Lorraine said: “It’s only just been agreed in the last couple of weeks that I’ve been extended on, so that gives me a bit more time to get more things carried out.”
Looking back on her work to date, she added: “One of the main issues that we’ve had has been the appearance of the town.
“There’s been a lot of paving that’s needed repairs, holes that have needed repairs and shop frontages needing looked at, and we’ve been working away on that speaking to a lot of businesses and seeing if they would help by maintaining their fronts and clear out their guttering a bit more.”
Lorraine notes that work has been taking place with community groups to improve the appearance of the Whitesands.
She said: “Hopefully we’ll get planters in there that are being sponsored by various organisations, and we’ve got eight schools and nurseries that are going to maintain planters as well.
“So that’ll make this look quite nice for the tourists coming in.”
The roads department are to paint poles, Community Payback repair benches, paint bollards and remove graffiti, and artwork has started appearing in closes – such as next to Baker’s Oven.
Weeds in front of The Loreburn Hall will be addressed, and Lorraine is determined to see cleaning carried out to Burns Statue and Queensberry Pillar.
As work continues, she said: “It’s taken a bit of time to get on top of it, but we are getting there.”

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