Priority towns for regeneration get funding boost

Dumfries and Galloway Council has welcomed funding support from the Scottish Government through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership for the recruitment of Community Enterprise Managers in Annan/Langholm, Dumfries, Stranraer and Upper Nithsdale.

This is a pilot project, which has been developed alongside Scottish Borders Council. It is based on a successful Highlands and Islands Enterprise programme and has been awarded £510,000. The project will run for 12 months with lessons learned planned to be fed back to the development of community support within the incoming South of Scotland Enterprise.

The project will see specialist advisors work with the local communities to support new and developing projects which will have a positive local economic impact in towns and locations across the South of Scotland. It aims to encourage an ambitious and enterprising approach to enterprising community and business activity including the potential to develop new, financially sustainable, projects.

Councillor Rob Davidson, Chair Economy and Resources Committee said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to pilot methods to support communities to deliver new services and projects with the intention of generating greater economic impacts within their localities.
In the Highlands and Islands this type of business support and planning has proved invaluable for community enterprises, and this is a chance to test if this type of approach can be adapted to suit some of the unique challenges we face in the south of Scotland.”
Vice Chair, Archie Dryburgh said: “This funding is very welcome as it will enable us to help develop new projects which are much needed to boost our towns’ local economy. The pilot will also make links and work in collaboration, where appropriate, with the Third Sector networks in Dumfries and Galloway, covering as wide a remit as possible.”

The Council will work with host organisations in each of the four areas in Dumfries and Galloway to recruit appropriate staff to deliver the project. The aim is for the Community Enterprise Managers to be in place by late Autumn.

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