Dalbeattie’s Rocks and Wheels Project Moves Forward

The dedicated Rocks and Wheels team are ending the year in a positive place, ready to push forward with the design stage of the project in 2023.

The focus this year involved finalising the business plan to present to the D&G Council panel for the asset transfer request for the former Dalbeattie primary school site. Both parties have agreed the decision notice of the transfer, and this will be completed within 2 years or earlier if £2.5million has been secured. The project was selected as one of three in Dumfries and Galloway for the Levelling Up Fund. No news yet if the project has been successful but they are hopeful to find out the decision by the end of the year.

However, through funding they have successfully secured money from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Community Led Regeneration Fund (CLERF) for the project to progress to the ‘developed design’ stage (RIBA3), where the practical aspects of the concept are decided and discussions with the design team will begin considering the legal requirements such as building regulations and planning. The steering group are really excited to be working with Collective Architecture from Glasgow who will bring the ideas of Rocks and Wheels to life. From the continued community consultations held the team are ready to feed the community’s ‘needs and wants’ for the building to the architects to work their magic. The extensive work the steering group have undertaken so far provides them with a clear and substantial framework that has been commercially and economically tested. The team are confident Collective Architecture will further develop these ideas and identities of the proposed spaces and places which reflect our community. The financial support awarded by Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has covered the operating expenses which has had a significant impact on getting the project to this stage of development.

Finally for 2022, Rocks and Wheels would like to introduce their first Honorary Patron Dame Barbara Kelly. One of the regions most inspiring and influential people. Dame Barbara has fond memories of growing up in Dalbeattie and attended both Dalbeattie primary and secondary schools.

We are delighted that Dame Barbara Kelly has accepted our invitation to become our first honorary patron. Dame Barbara has always been passionate about Dalbeattie and for her to support the Rocks and wheels project is wonderful, especially as we are utilising the old primary school where she attended as a girl” Ian Wilbur, Chair of Rocks and Wheels.

Other positives to end the year on include the publication of Rocks and Wheels quarterly online newsletter, awarded the bronze level Cycle Scotland award, holding a face to face 2-day community consultation where you could have a go at making a delicious smoothie while cycling and finalising Rocks and wheels first ever cycle challenge. This will take place Sunday 23 April 2023 and is open to absolutely anyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful day out riding through the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway countryside whether it is on an ebike, tricycle, tandem, mountain bike or road bike, the choice is yours. For more information about news, events and to register for the cycle challenge visit the website rocksandwheels.org

Dalbeattie Community Initiative would like to thank the continued support the project has received from D&G Abbey Ward Officer, Local Councillors, Dalbeattie Learning Campus & local schools/groups, and our community and hope to share continued positive progress in 2023.

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