Saturday 7th April will see the public launch of the Community Benefit Society for the Dumfries, Midsteeple Quarter Project and the first outing for the Doon Toon Army in a day of fun, music and solidarity in support of a new beginning for Dumfries Town Centre! From 11am until 3pm, members of the public are invited to come along to join in the events happening around the Midsteeple and the Stove Network – there will be music, speeches, entertainers and specially made Midsteeple People merchandise.
Kevin Reid, Creative Producer for the Midsteeple Quarter Project, commented: “The Midsteeple Quarter Project is a means by which local people can once more create a town centre that brings opportunity and prosperity for everyone in our community. It is a Community Benefit Society that everyone can join – it is like an old fashioned ‘building society’; something that we all own and have an equal say in directing.”
On 7th April, members of the public will be invited to sign up to the Midsteeple Quarter Community Society – membership is free and, as a member, you’ll have a say in owning and directing this very special project for the future of the town. Members can be part of shaping the plan for a town, spread the word, support local business and make your voice heard! They will also be eligible to buy Shares in the project and help put local money to work to build the town that we all want to live in.
The Midsteeple Quarter idea is built on five years of research and consultation carried out by the local community. The majority of the responses highlighted the need to bring more people to live back in the town centre. This will create more life during the evenings, make greater demand for services and shops and bring a greater variety and richness to the place.
The Midsteeple Quarter Project aims to take ownership of a group of disused buildings on Dumfries High Street. They will refurbish them and steward them for the community as affordable enterprise space at street level and rent out good quality flats on the floors above. Their plans are to start by re-developing the former Bakers Oven premises on Queensberry Square – subject to an Asset Transfer from the Council. The refurbished building will comprise a street level enterprise space for new local businesses to get started and at least six new flats on the floors above and stretching down Standard Close – bringing the first new housing to one of Dumfries’ iconic Closes for the first time in many generations.