Dumfries Pledges To ‘Keep Going’ After Narrowly Missing Out On City Status

Dumfries has pledged to ‘keep going’ with its ambitious programme of improvements after missing out on becoming Scotland’s eighth city, it was announced today (Friday 20 May).

Dumfries was in the running to be crowned Scotland’s newest city, which was part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The accolade of Scotland’s newest city went to Dunfermline. Also in the running were Elgin, Greenock, Livingston, Oban, St Andrews and South Ayrshire.

The campaign for the town to be named a city was spearheaded by the chair of the city bid’s organising group, Councillor Tracey Little, who submitted the formal bid for city status in December 2021.

The campaign for Dumfries to be crowned Queen of the South, and the country’s first rural city, received backing and support from the region and several key figures, including the People’s Project, Dumfries Partnership Action Group and Dame Joanna Lumley.

Councillor Little said: “While we are disappointed not to have been awarded city status, we do congratulate Dunfermline on being awarded this status.
“But this is not the end for Dumfries – far from it. The improvements that we have planned for the town featured strongly in the campaign, and they will still be going ahead. Doonhamers, the wider region and visitors deserve to see our ambition for our town sustained.
“We have had fantastic exposure as part of our campaign, and I firmly believe this has really put Dumfries on the map.
“People across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway have really supported the bid and we should be very proud of our achievements. The body of work detailed in the bid is really valuable and we’ll use that to keep the momentum going for a sustainable and bright future.
“Previous towns in Scotland which have successfully achieved city status have greatly benefited from more investment, more new jobs and improved infrastructure. We still believe city status would bring huge benefits to Dumfries and the wider region.”

Dumfries, which has a population of almost 40,000 was home to Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns. The poet wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ while at Ellisland Farm, six miles north of the town in 1788.

Dumfries also inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan. Barrie played in the house and garden of Moat Brae as a child while at school at the adjacent Dumfries Academy