Residents Praised for Role in Dumfries Neighbourhood Project

Local residents living in a Dumfries neighbourhood have been praised for their role in helping to plan regeneration work about to get under way. Enthusiastic residents, local business owners and councillors met on Wednesday the 13th of July to review ambitious plans which will see a Dumfries neighbourhood transformed this summer. This was described as “a really good event which resulted in lots of positive feedback.”

The designs for the neighbourhood have been developed jointly by residents, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sustrans Scotland since October 2012, as part of the ‘Neighbourhood Street Design Project’. The layouts of Cumberland Street, Brooke Street, McLellan Street and Queen Street are to be altered to create more people friendly and vibrant spaces.


Everyone’s hard work and perseverance over the last three years has finally paid off, with works due to start on the area on 25th July.  Enthusiastic residents worked with local planners and representatives from Sustrans to form a plan which suited all. This wasn’t just about current resident’s needs and wants, it was also to look at the roots of the Victorian area so that the history could be preserved and reflected in any new designs. Officers looked into the history of the area and carried out research into the residents in its early days.


Speaking at an event for local residents at the Cumberland Day Centre (Wednesday 13 July) Nith Ward Councillor and Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Colin Smyth told residents: “This project has been great partnership between Sustrans, the council but most importantly of all – local residents. The ideas and final designs have been fully shaped by the community and has been a fantastic example of a bottom up approach to regeneration where those most directly affected lead the process. It’s also great that the contract to carry out the work has been secured by a local contractor, Molplant Construction Limited, who employ around fifty people locally. As well as significant improvements to the public space in the area, including an increase in greenery, we are also seeing new housing being built by Loreburn and DGHP on Brooke Street and Queen Street”.


This community led project has attracted praise for the unique way in which it has been delivered. Residents have been directly involved in all aspects of the projects ranging from deciding on street lighting styles, road name plates and planters through to the commissioning of artworks, alongside steering the design process. Support has also been given to residents to develop ideas which bring people together and strengthen the neighbourhood, resulting in the creation of vibrant community gardens on Queen Street and the rear of Cumberland Street which could be used for future events.
John Lauder, National Director, Sustrans Scotland said: “All those fabulous ideas, aspirations and vision of the neighbourhood the residents put forward at the events we’ve held over the last few years are coming to the light or at least edging that little bit closer to fruition.

Take a walk through the neighbourhood and admire the colour and greenery in the community garden, the planters and the mural behind the Day Centre (all the good work of the residents and DG1 Neighbours) and behind it all are the stronger social connections, feelings of neighbourhood and shared ownership. “

The project has been jointly funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sustrans Scotland with funding from Transport Scotland. Construction starts in the area on the 25th of July and is expected to be completed by December 2016. During construction access to some parts of the neighbourhood will be restricted whilst works are undertaken. Work will be phased to minimise disruption to the community and local businesses. Details of planned road closures are available on: www.tellmescotland.gov.uk



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