Feasibility Study Into The Future Of Iconic Town Centre Building Gets Under Way

The Guild (Dumfries) CIC are thrilled to announce a successful funding application from Scottish Government’s Town Centre Capital Fund (TCCF) The award allows The Guild to commission Creetown Initiative, to conduct a feasibility study into the possible asset transfer of the former British Linen Bank in Dumfries town centre.

The aim of the TCCF is to help stimulate economic growth and encourage diversity to help town centre’s flourish by increasing footfall. The money can also be used to re-purpose buildings for housing, retail, business, social and community enterprise, services, leisure and culture, tourism and heritage and improving access and infrastructure which is part of Council’s Town Centre Action Plan.

The Guild Director Leah Halliday states, “Our ambitious plans are to develop a community space that will offer multiple, affordable rental concessions in our retail area, have both studio and workshop space, offices and meeting rooms, a venue for exhibitions and events plus a community kitchen. These will be available to rent to our community of makers, a variety of local groups, businesses and organisations, offering a central place where people can meet, work, create and collaborate, with a strong ethos of encouraging participation and social inclusion.”

Kirsten Scott, Director adds, “Now more than ever before we must create opportunities for businesses within the Dumfries and Galloway area and make concerted efforts to regenerate Dumfries town centre. The Linen Bank building offers an ideal focus for enterprise, entrepreneurship and community wellbeing, as well as guaranteeing the future of this iconic building”.

Creetown Initiative are delighted to be given the chance to work with the Guild Dumfries on their plans to move into the former British Linen Bank, Queensbury Street, Dumfries. Lead Officer and Senior Project Manager, Andrew Ward says, “This major project will see new facilities open to makers and artists from across the region, a place to work from and a place to exhibit or sell from. Creetown Initiatives remit is to investigate the feasibility of the project, whilst working with architects on design options and other building related matters”.

Another step forward in the regeneration of Dumfries Town Centre it is hoped to complete the feasibility study by end of August 2020 (Coronavirus willing). During that time it is hoped that the asset transfer process moves forward making it possible for The Guild to move into the premises by the end of the year. As well as looking at the feasibility of the project, Creetown Initiative will identify funds to support any upgrade work that is identified.

Director Natalie Farrell states, “Over the last 2 years during the projects and markets we have organised so far, The Guild have worked with over 100 maker, producers and collaborated with many other organisations, businesses and charities. They have embarked on a series of community engagement events aimed at tailoring our plans to the communities needs and requirements. Our hugely successful Pop Up Shop, which saw up to 1000 visitors per day over a two-week period, was one such exercise which gave us a superb opportunity to gauge public opinion, gain feedback and collect evidence to endorse our plans. We want to continue to nurture and grow the partnerships we have already made at our previous events and share the idea of our community space to the people of Dumfries”.

Further opportunities for the community to discuss The Guild’s plans for The Linen Bank will be available via an online and paper survey, plus an opportunity to discuss ideas and thoughts with the directors and volunteers at a live event in Queensberry Square on Saturday 8th August between 11am – 2pm. Members of the public are invited to safely attend the open air event and find out more. Further details are available on the website theguilddumfries.org or get in touch at [email protected]

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