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100 pledge support for Dumfries vision

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
100 pledge support for Dumfries vision

A DRIVE to promote life in the centre of Dumfries has seen more than 100 people pledge their support.

And an event held earlier this month also saw ideas put forward including bringing education and healthcare into the centre of the town.
Speaking after the two-day Midsteeple Quarter event, Matt Baker of community development trust The Stove Network said: “Over the last year we have noticed a real shift in attitudes.
“In the past people tended to look to the council to do everything. Now the conversation has changed to ‘what can we do ourselves?’.”
Arranged in the wake of warnings Dumfries risks becoming a ‘ghost town’, The Baker’s Oven became a lively project hub on November 15 and 16 featuring a pop up living room, discussions and workshops.
It also featured the exhibition, ‘People’s Dumfries’; a collection of Dumfries inspired artworks, including models of buildings within the town by Frank Brown.
The site also played host to in-house writer and Stove curatorial team member Martin Joseph O’Neill, who spent 12 hours writing through the night to produce a story appearing on the windows of the premises.
More than 100 people signed up to ‘The Dumfries Pledge’ in support of community development in the town.
They also shared their stories of old Dumfries and contributed to the vision for a Midsteeple Quarter.
Suggestions included a focus on the Whitesands as a tourist destination and entry point to the town, affordable premises for living and working in the town centre to encourage new enterprises, bringing services like healthcare and education into the town centre and more of a focus on the history of the town.
Comments and plans from the exhibition are now on display in the Stove Cafe in the town’s High Street.
And seed funding newly obtained from the Scottish Government’s Activating Ideas Fund will allow the ideas to be developed, with The Stove continuing to serve as an information point for the project.
Anyone interested in contributing or signing up to the Dumfries Pledge is encouraged to drop in or get in touch with The Stove by emailing [email protected]

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