Almost £18 million funding has been announced in the UK levelling Up Fund to help Dumfries and Galloway turn two redundant spaces and buildings in Stranraer and Dalbeattie into exciting new cultural and leisure opportunities.
Landmark levelling up funding will breathe new life into more than 100 communities, with up to £2.1 billion awarded today to transformational projects across the United Kingdom. These include Eden Project North visitor attraction in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool, a new rail link in Cornwall, and a major regeneration scheme in Gateshead that will create jobs and grow the economy.
D&G Council is delighted with the announcement that we have successfully bid to round two of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF). We have received notification that Dumfries and Galloway Council has been awarded £17,698,660 for our Dumfries and Galloway Constituency bid for ‘Reactivating Galloway’.
This bid included three interlinking and distinct projects under the Regeneration and Culture themes within the LUF with a strategic focus on developing opportunities for outdoor activities, building on the boom in staycations and the increased desire within communities for outdoor activity that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the Council intends to use this funding to support town centre regeneration through re-using vacant or derelict buildings, providing new focal points to attract visitors and facilities to be enjoyed by the local community.
Dumfries and Galloway submitted three bids –the successful bid, as stated above, for projects situated within the UK Parliament constituency of Dumfries and Galloway; one for a transport bid within our region, focussing on ‘sustainable connectivity’ and access to ‘green’ energy; and one within the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency, the ‘Three Rivers Active Tourism Project’ – working with South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Borders Council.
Our Council is disappointed that we have not had success with the other two, but we will continue to look for other funding and opportunities to fulfil these projects. In particular we will support our partner group for the Annan Harbour Regeneration project
For our successful bid, Dehenna Davison MP provided the following feedback on behalf of the UK Government: “You submitted a strong application, which performed well against our assessment criteria, and I was pleased to hear about the projects that you plan to deliver with this investment. I appreciate the hard work that went into the application and am very keen, as I am sure you are, to get delivery and spend underway quickly.”
Co-Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Stephen Thompson said: “This is great news for our region, particularly the West where this investment, in addition to our Council’s existing projects at the Marina, Stranraer Waterfront and the George Hotel in the town centre, will provide a real boost to regeneration and improving the local economy. The announcement earlier this week of Scottish Government funding for the regeneration of Lockerbie Old School and our ongoing delivery of projects through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is evidence of the strides our Council is taking to bring in additional funding to deliver investments for the benefit of the region.”
Co-Leader, Linda Dorward said: “Our success has proven that we recognised these very worthy priority projects for our Council. I have stated in the past that our Council will do all that it can to address the impacts of the pandemic on our local economy and this funding will help bring a lot of our ideas and proposals to fruition. We will continue to develop and support local organisations to bring forward projects that support their local places and the region
Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack has warmly welcomed news that projects in the region will receive round-two grants totalling £18 million through the UK Government flagship Levelling Up Fund.
Mr Jack, who is also Scottish Secretary, encouraged bids from his constituency and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Levelling Up concept.
He said last night: “There were excellent projects from across the country and great credit should go to all those involved in developing the many carefully presented bids.
“I’m delighted major developments in Wigtownshire and Stewartry will boost the economy, jobs, built environment and general well-being. The funding should help project planners proceed with confidence, making a significant difference for local people and visitors.
“Stranraer investment includes re-purposing and enhancing the eyesore George Hotel site whilst elsewhere in the town creating a water sports centre beside the waterfront.
“Further east, the Rocks and Wheels attraction at Dalbeattie was also a perfect match for the Levelling Up objectives and I’m confident, when completed, all the projects will bring a new vibrancy to our communities.”
Mr Jack expressed the belief that the bidding process provided valuable experience for some applicants not selected this time, leaving them well placed to take projects forward in future funding initiatives.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
We are firing the starting gun on more than a hundred transformational projects in every corner of the UK that will revitalise communities that have historically been overlooked but are bursting with potential.
This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people’s priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.