Community & Place At The Heart Of Borderlands

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The Borderlands Place Programme is an integral part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, with £50 million allocated across all five local authority partners, £12.75 million indicatively earmarked for towns in Dumfries and Galloway, and a further £1.25 million provided by the Council over the term of the 10-year programme, sitting within a wider landscape of place regeneration funding.

The UK and Scottish Governments, and the Council’s own economic development investments, provide a range of funding streams to support place-based regeneration, economic recovery and renewal projects in our region.

These funding streams are focused on supporting public sector, community and business organisations to work together to support a range of objectives. These include policy ambitions, such as: town centre revitalisation; community led regeneration; 20-minute neighbourhoods; community wealth building; acceleration to net zero; wellbeing and inclusive growth; tackling inequality; community ownership; reskilling; and renewal and recovery.

The purpose of the Borderlands Place Programme is to provide financial support to enable towns and town centres to become more economically resilient, through working with communities and making the most of the town’s cultural and heritage assets. By doing so existing businesses will be safeguarded and new ones attracted, the population sustained with more people of working age, job opportunities will be improved and more visitors will spend time and money in our towns.

Members of Dumfries and Galloway’s Full Council (24 June) will receive a report on the progress made on the Place Programme within the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and will be asked to agree to the process to identify the initial towns to go forward through the Borderlands Place Programme process.

Eighteen towns across the region were assessed on their relative need using a number of different indicators, including the effect of Covid on their local economies. Following this analysis Gretna, Wigtown, Kirkconnel and Stranraer are proposed as the first towns to be taken through the Borderlands Place Programme requirements to prepare Place Plans which may be eligible for Borderlands investment. The remaining towns are not excluded from submitting Borderlands projects in the future, and projects which are not eligible for Borderlands funding may be submitted for alternative funding sources from the Scottish and UK Governments, creating a pipeline of projects to attract future investment.
In adopting this approach, the Borderlands Partnership Board recognised that partners would not be starting from scratch and this approach should build on existing proposed investments and other initiatives.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “Our towns have great potential, but in many cases the activities which used to sustain their economies are no longer able to do so. The Borderlands Place Programme provides an opportunity for our towns to be repurposed and reinvented using the knowledge of their local communities and working with them to provide solutions. Importantly though its not the only game in town, other funding sources are increasingly becoming available and we want to develop projects across our region which can attract investment“.
Depute Leader, Rob Davidson said: “Helping our communities to grow and develop is vital to supporting economic growth. To help our communities to deliver that we must ensure that we enable investment which supports them to prosper and grow in their own unique and different ways. This is not an exclusive process – we want to widen out the Place Programme over the lifetime of the Borderlands Growth Deal to assist as many communities across our region as we can. We believe that this community-led approach puts people at the heart of decision making about the solutions that the Place Programme can bring to the challenges facing their own towns.”

To read the full report go to: https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s31429/Borderlands%20Place%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

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