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Town sends off its city bid

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By Charles Fletcher
Dumfries and West
Town sends off its city bid

THE bid by Dumfries to transform from town status is an opportunity to craft a city for the 21st century.

And becoming that city will bring a chance to evolve and benefit communities across the wider region.

That’s the view of Annandale North SNP councillor Stephen Thompson.

He said: “I’m very conscious are we simply going to get a city and look within Dumfries or look wider?”

And he told DNG Media: “Once you get the prize, you then have to do the hard work.

“We have to look at whole life systems, how a new city evolves.”

Mr Thompson said he understands “some of the scepticism” surrounding the bid, but added: “People are broadly supportive of it.”

Much of the heritage and the history of Dumfries is emphasised in the bid for city status “and that’s a good starting point,” said Mr Thompson.

“But cities need to benefit the areas around them rather than be inward.

“There is a huge region that has to benefit, not just Dumfries itself,” he added.

Provost Tracey Little is leading the committee making the Dumfries bid, which is supported by local charities, businesses, schools, community groups and organisations across the area, including the Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP).

She said: “This is such an exciting moment, not just for Dumfries but for the whole region.

“City status would bring new investment, new jobs and new infrastructure to the area – and be a fantastic boost to civic pride.”

South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has tabled a motion at the Scottish Parliament to support the city bid by Dumfries.

She said: “When Perth, Stirling and Inverness received city status, they went from strength to strength, with greater job creation, increased inward migration, increased visitor numbers and improved transport infrastructure to connect them with other Scottish cities.

“I want to see this benefit for Dumfries and our wider region.”

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