Dumfries Historic Midsteeple Quarter Set to Launch Crowdfunder

The Dumfries Midsteeple Quarter have reached an exciting stage in their plans and are pleased to announce the launch of their Crowdfunder in January to help towards the purchase three more empty buildings within the Midsteeple Quarter – 109, 111 and 121 High Street.

The three properties form part of the community led Midsteeple Quarter regeneration project for the Dumfries town centre. All these buildings, including upper floors have been abandoned for several years.

Scott Mackay, manager of MSQ commented: “This is an urgent appeal due to the combination of the emergency need caused by COVID which has accelerated the decline of retail on our High Street, with the immediate opportunity of High Street buildings coming into community stewardship and presents a unique opportunity for the community to take back control.”

Following the purchase of 113-115 High Street and 117 High Street in September, Midsteeple Quarter are now moving into the next phase of their plans for the regeneration of Dumfries High Street. The purchase of these buildings is key to wider plans to repurpose the town centre, with more diverse and vibrant offerings of premises and spaces that will accommodate a range of commercial, retail, leisure and community uses.

The Crowdfunder will go live at the beginning of January and run for four weeks. Midsteeple Quarter are urging local people and MSQ supporters to come together to take back control of the High Street and help fund the purchase of 109, 111 and 121 High Street.

Chair of Midsteeple Quarter Board, Evie Copland commented: “We hope that everyone will back the Midsteeple Quarter Crowdfunder in the New Year – it has become apparent that local people know best what the town needs, with out of town landlords showing that they don’t care enough about what is happening on the High Street, leaving several shops lying empty and decaying. It’s time for a new approach to bringing life back to the town centre, one in which local people show what they can do.”

Midsteeple Quarter announced this week they had been awarded a grant from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF). The grant only goes part way towards the purchases and Midsteeple Quarter needs to show that the community are behind the initiative by supporting it financially.  We will be fundraising in the New Year for the remainder of the money required to purchase the buildings as well as do essential repairs and cover insurance.

In awarding the grant, the Scottish Land Fund Board commented that with the current problems High Streets all over the UK are facing, Midsteeple Quarter as of national importance as an innovate project focusing on community led regeneration as a possible solution.

Land Reform Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said:“The coronavirus pandemic has continued to set us all unprecedented challenges throughout 2020, acutely affecting local communities right across Scotland, and beyond. 
“But despite these challenges – in fact, because of them – communities up and down the country are playing an increasingly vital role in maintaining and building our resilience, our spirit and local support networks.

Midsteeple Quarter hopes that with the money raised through the Crowdfunder and the grant awarded from SLF, they will be able to acquire and refurbish the buildings which are situated in the heart of Dumfries town centre and recreate a community on the High Street.

For more information and to keep up to date with the Crowdwfunder launch, please visit www.midsteeplequarter.org

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