Recent Press Releases

We publish all of our press releases from the last 12 months here so you can keep up to date.
Please email pressenquiry@dumgal.gov.uk if you'd like further details on any of our press releases.
If you want to speak to a communications officer, you can find their office-hours telephone numbers and what areas of the council they cover at www.dumgal.gov.uk/pressenquiry.

  • Lockerbie is Next for Temporary 20mph Speed Limit

    Tuesday, 16 July 2024 14:25

    Lockerbie is the next town in Dumfries and Galloway to receive a temporary 20mph speed limit – starting on 26 July, ahead of the schools returning in August.

    Following the decision at Communities Committee in December 2021, a target in the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) and feedback from the public, the scheme will assist in the development of a national strategy for 20mph speed limits across Scotland. To deliver safer roads, Transport Scotland has an aspirational target to ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20mph by the end of 2025.

    The National Strategy has an ambition to improve road safety and health outcomes, with additional consideration being given to active travel and climate change targets.

    The introduction of the new speed limit aims to reduce perceptions of road danger, while encouraging people to walk, wheel and cycle. It will also seek to encourage considerate and respectful driving within Lockerbie and create a safer experience for locals and visitors.

    The scheme layout, that was designed in accordance with current national guidance and in consultation with local Councillors, will remain for an initial period of 18 months. Monitoring and evaluation information, including data supplied through traffic data surveys, will then be presented for appropriate council committee to seek approval for a permanent speed limit.

    Councillor Gail Macgregor, Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Following on from the successful implementation of both Stranraer and Annan’s 20mph speed limit schemes, a 20mph limit for Lockerbie will not only reduce vehicle speeds and accidents, but also make the roads and streets more attractive and safer for active travel and vulnerable user groups.

    “The Annan 20mph scheme has resulted in initial speed reductions of up to 20% at some survey sites. We aim to replicate this success in Lockerbie and encourage more people to reduce their speed and drive more considerately. Lowering traffic speed supports our local towns and villages to be places where people are free to travel in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair.”

    ENDS

  • Celebration of Robert Burns

    Monday, 15 July 2024 14:11

    The anniversary of the death of Robert Burns will be marked at Burns House in Dumfries with a celebration of his life and works on Sunday 21st July between 2pm and 5pm. The poet lived the last three years of his life in the home and it was there that he died in 1796 aged 37.

    Visitors will be able to explore the house, including the writing room where Burns penned some of his best-known songs, and the bedroom where he died. There will be a focus on his final days and those artefacts connected with his death.

    To help mark Burns’ ongoing legacy, there will be the chance to enjoy tunes from award-winning piper Gregor Grierson as he performs outside the house through the afternoon, including in the new performance space in Burns’ Backyard.

    Tours of Burns’ Dumfries will start from the Midsteeple at 2pm and 3.30pm, following the route and ending in St Michael’s Churchyard, with a chance to step inside the mausoleum where Burns was later reburied in 1815. Free guided tours start at the Midsteeple on Dumfries High Street at 2pm and 3.30pm.

    Burns House is of international significance, being the place where the poet spent his final years producing works which are still sung today, and with artefacts and original manuscripts of the Bard, it makes the perfect place to mark this occasion. People will be welcomed to the house to discover this history and celebrate the impact of Burns’ works.

    St Michael’s Church, where the poet worshipped, is just a short walk from the house. A memorial service will be held for Burns at 11am and the church will be open from 2-5pm for visitors to enjoy its history.

    Events at the house run from 2pm to 4.30pm, house open 2-5pm.
    All the activities are free of charge.

  • UK Parliamentary General Election Results 2024

    Friday, 05 July 2024 10:39

    The results of the UK Parliamentary Election to elect a Member of Parliament for Dumfries and Galloway County Constituency and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale County Constituency are as follows:

    Dumfries and Galloway County Constituency:

    • John Matthew Cooper - Scottish Conservative and Unionist– 13,527
    • David Phillip Griffiths – Heritage - 230
    • Charles Anthony Keal – Reform UK – 4,313
    • Tracey Little - Scottish National Party (SNP) – 12,597
    • Iain McDonald - Scottish Liberal Democrats – 2,092
    • Laura Moodie – Scottish Greens – 1,249
    • James Wallace – Scottish Labour – 11,767

    John Matthew Cooper, Scottish Conservative and Unionist hasbeen electedas Member of Parliament forthe Dumfries and Galloway County Constituency.

    Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale County Constituency:

    • Dominic Ashmole – Scottish Greens – 1,488
    • Drummond Begg - Scottish Liberal Democrats – 2,800
    • Daniel Coleman - Scottish Labour – 10,140
    • Gareth Kirk – Scottish Family Party – 208
    • David Alexander Kirkwood – Reform UK – 3,822
    • Kim Marshall - Scottish National Party – SNP – 10,757
    • David Gordon Mundell - Scottish Conservative and Unionist-14,999

    David Gordon Mundell, Scottish Conservative and Unionist has been elected to serve as Member of Parliament for the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale County Constituency.


    For more information visit Dumfries and Galloway Council website:

    https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/article/27163/UK-Parliamentary-General-Election-July-2024

  • Dumfries and Galloway Fine Arts Society Annual Exhibition

    Wednesday, 03 July 2024 16:42

    The Dumfries and Galloway Fine Arts Society Annual Exhibition starts on 6 July at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.

    Originally set up in 1922, Dumfries and Galloway’s largest practising art group presents a fascinating selection of over 160 works, from painting and drawing to craft and sculpture – and there is always something to catch the eye. As most are available to buy, it’s the ideal exhibition to start or enhance your original art collection with prices to suit all pockets.

    The new Honorary President of Dumfries and Galloway Fine Arts Society (DAGFAS), Lockerbie based artist, Bella Green, said: “I am so looking forward to this year’s summer exhibition – it promises to be a good one. The society is a vibrant group of like-minded people who are creative in their own homes and at our classes and workshops throughout the year. We welcome artists, both professional and amateur, and anyone with a keen interest in the arts.

    “If anyone is interested to see what we get up to, our Summer Exhibition is a fantastic chance to view a huge variety of paintings in oils, watercolour and acrylics as well as applied arts in a variety of mediums. And if you would like to join us there will be information about all our actives throughout the exhibition which will fill five rooms at the wonderful Gracefield Arts Centre.”

    A council spokesperson said: “Congratulations to the all the artists for another wonderful annual exhibition – it’s great to see so many members’ artwork and to have the chance to purchase a locally created piece for our own home.”

    The society will also be screening their centenary film, made but local filmmaker John Wallace to celebrate their 100th year in 2022. Look out for well-known faces and a glimpse behind the scenes of the exhibition-hanging and art workshops.

    The exhibitions are open Tuesday-Saturday 10am to 5pm, admission free, 28 Edinburgh Road Dumfries. For more information on what’s on at Gracefield and all the Councils other arts and museums visit www.DGCulture.co.uk

    Art for All Ages

    Summer holiday art and craft workshops start from Wednesday 3July for ages 5 to 12 years, and from Thursday 4July for Teens, aged 13 to 16 years. Please contact the gallery for details of spaces available – teens workshops are FREE as part of the Amazing Summer funded programme, so don’t miss your chance to try printmaking, jewellery, eco textiles and more…book early.

    ENDS

  • Thousands Gather for Youth Beatz Festival 2024

    Tuesday, 02 July 2024 09:04

    A capacity crowd descended on Park Farm, Dumfries on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June for the UK’s largest free youth music festival.

    An audience of around 40,000 over the course of the weekend were entertained by fantastic performances on the Main Stage, Second Stage and Dance Stage. The Youth Beatz Festival Main Stage featured performances from well-known UK acts Saint Phnx, Cascada, Jonas Blue, Alice Deejay, Sigala and Talia Mar, as well as some young up and coming performers from across Dumfries and Galloway.

    The Second Stage, ran in partnership with DMC (Dumfries Music Collective) featured performers from across Dumfries and Galloway and the rest of Scotland including Reece Williamson, Connie Ewart and Megan Black. The Dance Stage featured performances from dance acts from across the region, including Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Lockerbie.

    Over the weekend, social media has been full of posts, tags and comments – with some of the acts also getting involved in posting content.

    Saint Phnx shared multiple videos and photos to their Instagram stories showcasing their Sunday night performance as well as thanking the crowds in Dumfries.

    Alice Deejay shared on Instagram “Thank you for all of this weekend’s energy, love and fun! We had a blast on stage.”

    Sunday performer Sigala shared content on his Instagram stories showing his journey to Dumfries as well as videos from his action-packed slot as Youth Beatz 2024’s final Main Stage act.

    THE TOON youth drama production is a major feature of Youth Beatz and is designed to be a hard-hitting and shocking way of providing information to young people aged 14 to 25 about current issues that may be affecting them or may affect them in the future.

    The interactive experience was host to over 2400 young people on the Youth Beatz Festival weekend – that is on top of the schools shows and preview performances to young people in the week leading up to the festival weekend. Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Youth Work Service, together with partners, support a group of young volunteers to deliver the interactive youth zone by attendance at issue-based training plus performance and production camps. The Toon invites groups of young people to experience issues focussed on domestic abuse, knife crime, drugs and alcohol, mental health and bullying in short interpretive scenes.

    Some of the comments from young people who went through The Toon were:

    “Information presented through the Toon is relatable because it’s been designed and delivered by young people for young people.”

    “The Toon really opened my eyes as to what young people today go through and the challenges they face, it’s good to know you are never alone with how you’re feeling and the support that is available.”

    “The Toon young volunteers have done a fantastic job again in delivering their drama production, a huge well done to them all.”

    Other attractions on the weekend included a wide range of activities from youth information to giant inflatables. Youth Work partners promoted their services alongside partners from local and national community organisations within the youth information marketplace. The Kids Tent was non-stop all day, featuring performances from Road Runner, Tell Together Tales by Renita Boyle, and Double Trouble, and transforming into a huge children’s party each night with BJ Children’s Entertainer and Sophie Stardust.

    A Dumfries and Galloway Council spokesperson said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council is once again delighted with the high-quality event that has been delivered in our region. As the UK’s largest free youth music festival, Youth Beatz has highlighted what our region has to offer and this would not be possible without the help and valuable inputs of all the dedicated staff, Events Team and volunteers both youth and adult, and we are incredibly appreciative of all of their fantastic efforts.

    “Youth Beatz is more than a music festival, it allows young people to broaden their horizons and to try new things, and we already can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2025.”

    One young person attending the festival over the weekend said: “Thank you for the best two nights of my life.”

    Another festival goer said: “Very well organised and a wonderful weekend for all ages, thank you for all the hard work and effort that goes into this event!”

    Families and young people travelled from across Scotland for the event. One said: “Came down from the central belt and are so happy we came down, was plenty for the kids to do and see! Thank you to all of the organisers for the obvious hard work that goes into this event.”

    Another key feature of the festival is the Youth Beatz Fringe, which runs in the lead up to the event, and this year featured events in each Ward area of our region. The events that featured were all well attended by members of the local community, and included silent roller discos, urban adventure nights, outdoor games and challenges, inflatable sessions, dance nights and family fun days.

    The award-winning event was managed through a partnership led by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young Peoples Service in conjunction with the Oasis Events Team and Event Scotland. Funding for the event has been secured from Young Start, Awards for All, Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Dumfries and Galloway and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is proud to have supported Youth Beatz Festival 2024 through our National Events Programme. As Scotland's largest youth music event, it is an important part of Scotland's annual portfolio of annual events, providing young people from across Dumfries and Galloway and the rest of Scotland the chance to connect, enjoy and share a memorable experience.

    "Events play an important role in our communities and I'd like to congratulate the Youth Beatz team, including all the volunteers, on delivering another outstanding, sold-out event. They provided the perfect stage to celebrate the diverse talent and endless potential of young people from across Dumfries and Galloway in a safe and friendly environment."

    The Council’s Youth Work Service would like to thank all partners involved in planning the event and hopefully look forward to building on the success in the future. To view pictures of the event, head to the event social media channels and the website www.youthbeatz.co.uk

    ENDS

  • Royal Mail Delay to Delivery of Postal Votes in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway Constituencies

    Friday, 28 June 2024 16:04

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is taking measures to ensure a small number of postal voters in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies who won’t be at home next week can cast their vote in next Thursday’s UK Parliamentary general election.

    The distribution of postal votes nationally has been hit by delays, but Royal Mail has confirmed that all packs in the two constituencies should be delivered tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday.

    Due to these delays, we have taken the following steps:

    • From today (28 June), and over the weekend, voters in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies who have yet to receive their postal votes – and will not be at home next week – should contact elections@dumgal.gov.uk or call our dedicated helpline immediately on 01387260 008. The helpline will be staffed between 9am and 3pm Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June.
    • A small number of people who haven’t received their postal vote but will not be at home next week in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies have already been in touch with our council and we are reissuing them with a voting pack.
    • We have posted updates on our website, social media and issued a media statement.

    We are prioritising those who will not be at home next week.If you will be at home next week, please wait for delivery and only contact us early next week if you still haven’t received your voting pack.

    The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency covers parts of the Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire Council areas. The Dumfries and Galloway Constituency lies within the Dumfries and Galloway Council area only.

  • Project SEARCH Dumfries and Galloway Celebrates 10 Years of Success and Expands to Stranraer

    Friday, 28 June 2024 10:06

    Project SEARCH, a pioneering programme dedicated to preparing young people with autism spectrum conditions and other learning disabilities for competitive employment, is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary in Dumfries and Galloway. This milestone coincides with an exciting expansion of the programme into the west of the region, in Stranraer, making Dumfries and Galloway one of the few areas in Scotland to offer Project SEARCH across two locations.

    Over the past decade, Project SEARCH has been a beacon of opportunity for young people aged 16 and above, providing them with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the workplace. The programme is a collaboration between Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Employability and Skills Service, Dumfries and Galloway College, and local employers, fostering a supportive environment where interns can gain real-world work experience.

    Gillian Brydson, Executive Director of Education, Skills and Community Wellbeing at Dumfries and Galloway Council, reflected on the programme's impact: “Celebrating 10 years of Project SEARCH is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our interns, colleagues and partners. The expansion into Stranraer marks an exciting new chapter, allowing us to extend these invaluable opportunities to even more young people across our region. We are immensely proud of what has been achieved and look forward to many more success stories in the future.”

    Anne Clark, Curriculum Manager, Education and Access, at Dumfries and Galloway College, echoed these sentiments: “Project SEARCH has a strong record in supporting our interns into employment as well as equipping them with the skills and experience to pursue their career goals. The expansion to the West of the region in Stranraer demonstrates our confidence in the programme, and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on more young people accessing Project Search and their local communities.”

    One of the current Project SEARCH graduates, Ally, shared their experience: “With the help and support of DFN Project SEARCH, I was able to grow. I improved my work skills by completing three workplace rotations. I can comfortably say that completing DFN Project Search has given me the confidence and skills to set me up for both my working life and personal life.”

    Over the past 10 years, Project SEARCH has seen countless success stories. Interns have embraced the challenges of the workplace, developed new skills and grown in confidence. This programme not only helps them achieve their career goals but also celebrates their talents and dedication, as demonstrated by the inspiring graduation ceremonies held each year (most recently on 14 June).

    As Project SEARCH marks this important anniversary and prepares for its next cohort, the programme remains dedicated to its mission of empowering young people with the skills, confidence and experience to secure and sustain meaningful employment. The addition of the Stranraer location will enhance the reach and impact of the programme, continuing to pave the way for an even brighter future for young people across Dumfries and Galloway.

    For more information about Project SEARCH and its upcoming expansion, please contact: ESS.referrals@dumgal.gov.uk

  • Youth Beatz 2024 - The Wait Is Nearly Over

    Wednesday, 26 June 2024 10:59

    After months of excitement and preparation, Youth Beatz 2024 is almost here, with 40,000 young people expected to attend the UK’s largest free youth music festival on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June at Park Farm Showfield, Dumfries

    The festival continues its offer of music acts, performers and free activities available for young people across a variety of stages and areas of the site. The continued enhancement of Youth Beatz is thanks to the ongoing support of Dumfries and Galloway Council, who value our region’s young people and want to give them a truly memorable experience at what is the UK’s largest free youth music festival.

    At this year’s Youth Beatz Festival, there is a massive range of activities for all of the family to get involved in; Inflatables, Ziplining, Kids tent, Glasgow Science Centre, DG Arts Festival, Youth Work tent, 3Sixty stunt display team, Target Wrestling tent, giant inflatables, Circus Sensible and much more! There will also be a Youth Information Area where local and national organisations will be promoting their services for young people. The Council’s Youth Work Service team also have their Youth Work area, where you can find out what youth services you can become involved in, and what is on offer across Dumfries and Galloway.

    Four stages will be entertaining crowds for the duration of the weekend on the Dance Stage, Kids tent, Second Stage and Main Stage. Full lineups and timings are available for all stages on the Youth Beatz website, at www.youthbeatz.co.uk/whatson

    Park Farm will play host to well-known performers CASCADA, TALIA MAR, JONAS BLUE, SIGALA, SAINT PHNX and ALICE DEEJAY, as well as a variety of Dumfries and Galloway’s young and upcoming performers.

    Youth Beatz 2024 also sees a return of the hard hitting, immersive and interactive youth learning experience – The Toon. The Toon Productions presents an alternative take on common issues that affect young people in their day-to-day lives. Topics addressed will include poverty, alcohol and drugs, knife crime, sectarianism and domestic abuse. Over 50 local young volunteers have been working since Easter to put together this award-winning educational experience. Make sure you book in early at the Toon Box Office on the event days to ensure that you get a place on a tour, as the tickets always go fast.

    If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle, we also have a dedicated Quiet Area and Sensory Space that can be found in the quietest corner of the site away from the Main Stage. British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters will be available at both event entrances between 12noon and 2.00pm for general queries. There will also be dedicated Toon Tours with BSL interpreters on both event days, on Saturday 4pm to 5pm and Sunday 2:30pm to 3:30pm and 4pm to 5pm. If you would like any further information on BSL interpreters, you can visit the Festival Box Office on event days.

    Music performances will be provided throughout the day on the Second Stage, giving festival goers the opportunity to see some of Dumfries and Galloway’s best up and coming young performers including Reece Williamson and Ella Campbell, with the Main Stage also hosting performers from across the region, and Scotland including Ben Walker and Robin Ashcroft. The Second Stage has been programmed in partnership with local organisation DMC (Dumfries Music Collective).

    Now in its fourteenth year, the award-winning event is managed through a partnership led by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Youth Work Service in conjunction with the Oasis Events Team. The event is supported by the National Events Programme Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. Support for the event also comes from National Lottery Young Start, Alcohol and Drug Partnership, YouthLink Scotland and Awards for All.

    Mark Molloy, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Manager for Young People’s Services said:

    “Once again we have seen a strong demand for tickets for this year’s Youth Beatz Festival, with all tickets being allocated within 35 hours of the launch event. There are no further tickets available, so we would advise that those without tickets do not turn up to the event, as no tickets are available on the gate. We recommend that people arrive early, and that there will be no admission into the event after 8:30pm on both event days. Attendees can bring in packed lunches, but there are no liquids permitted into the Festival site and searches will be carried out upon entry. We would also ask that people follow all traffic directions which will be in place across Dumfries, and to respect the parking restrictions that are in place for the event.”

    Police Scotland continues to work in partnership with Youth Beatz planners to ensure the focus of Youth Beatz is on young people being able to attend and enjoy the event in an environment that is safe. This is a strictly no alcohol event and a robust policing plan is in place to ensure that anybody who enters this area in possession of, or under the influence of alcohol will be refused entry.

    Superintendent Nicola Robison, Policing Commander for the event said:

    “We would like to remind those attending Youth Beatz that it is an alcohol-free event and anybody in possession of or under the influence of alcohol will not gain entry to the event. Youth Beatz is one of the largest events within the region and a huge community effort for all those involved. It`s success over the past 14 years is linked to the thorough planning that takes place at a local level with a host of partners in Dumfries and Galloway.All partners involved in the planning and delivery of the event want the event to be a success and enjoyable for all. We would appreciate the ongoing cooperation of those attending to achieve this.”

    To get up to date information surrounding this year’s event, visit www.youthbeatz.co.uk or follow us on social media.

  • Council Scoops National Digital Award

    Tuesday, 25 June 2024 15:52

    The Education teams of Dumfries and Galloway Council together with East, North and South Ayrshire Councils won the Digital Transformation Award at the Municipal Journal (MJ) Awards on Friday last week with ‘SWConnects’, - the digital delivery of qualifications.

    ‘SWConnects’ delivers live on-line teaching for Advanced Highers and Highers to pupils in 40 secondary schools and across the four councils as part of the Regional Improvement Collaborative.

    This win follows a Highly Commended award at the Local Government Chronicle Awards the previous week where the judges said ‘this project hugely impressed the panel with an approach which had a direct and measurable impact on students and at no incremental cost. They went on to say they 'would recommend any other Councils with similar challenges in delivering qualifications in rural areas to speak to the team and learn from what we had achieved through SWConnects.'

    Before SWConnects, learners across south-west Scotland were given less choices of courses to study at Higher and Advanced Higher level, largely due to rurality and geography. It would not be feasible or achievable for someone in Largs to travel to Langholm to study Advanced Higher History for 3 hours per week. Thanks to this partnership though, this became not only reality, but the norm, and learners from across the south-west study virtually, in classes and courses run by teachers from across all four local authorities.

    Executive Director of Education, Skills and Community Wellbeing for Dumfries and Galloway Council, Dr Gillian Brydson said on behalf of the Regional Improvement Collaborative:

    “We are delighted to have won this MJ award as it validates and recognises the quality of the work we have delivered so successfully. Winning an MJ Award acknowledges the tremendous effort of all the staff and learners within the four local authorities and shows what can be achieved if we are brave and work together. To be able to offer a broader range of qualifications to pupils in rural areas has meant they’ve had the chance to go on to study courses at colleges and universities that would not previously been possible. A sincere thank you to all the teachers, support staff and learners who have made it such a success. This model has proven that on-line delivery of learning towards qualifications works, and we look forward to expanding this approach with our colleagues across the Councils."

  • Summer Of Activities Launched

    Monday, 24 June 2024 11:34

    Young people in Dumfries & Galloway will have the chance to take part in a wide range of free activities over the Summer Holidays taking place in local communities across our region. Dumfries and Galloway Council has invested £264,000 of funding that will provide activities to ensure that children and young people across the region have a Summer to remember.

    Activities are available from Tuesday 2 July until Tuesday 20 August and are specifically aimed at children and young people aged 5-16 years old (up to 25 years old for care experienced young people) who are within the priority groups that the funding is aimed at.

    The activities on offer will give young people the opportunity to meet with their friends, make new friends, and to take part in fun and free activities and new opportunities. The programmes and activities available throughout the duration of the school summer holidays will provide support to children and young people who may otherwise struggle to access experiences during the holidays, giving them the opportunity to play, socialise and get to know organisations and services within their local community.

    There are activities for all ages, and all interests including sports sessions, arts sessions, free leisure facility access, Summer Camps, workshops on different topics, day trips and creative and performing arts sessions and much more.

    The young people who were involved in the Amazing Summer Fund through the co-production group have ensured that the activities on offer across Dumfries and Galloway have been designed by young people, for young people through co-design with organisations, and that they opportunities are spread the length and breadth of the region. Young people also helped to set the fund’s priorities and sat on the independent scoring panel, ensuring that the activities will make a positive difference to young people in communities across Dumfries and Galloway.

    To see all that is on offer, and how to sign up for activities, please visit: www.youthenquiryservice.org/whats-on

  • ‘Eye to Eye: Sir Henry Raeburn’s Portraits’ Opens at Kirkcudbright Galleries

    Monday, 24 June 2024 11:12

    Kirkcudbright Galleries is delighted to present ‘Eye to Eye: Sir Henry Raeburn’s Portraits.’

    Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), widely recognised as Scotland’s foremost and finest portrait painter, takes his place in the pantheon of the best in a Golden Age of British portraiture; Allan Ramsay, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, and Thomas Lawrence.

    Living in Edinburgh all his life, in his most prolific years from c.1790 to his death, Raeburn painted over 1000 known portraits. These record a remarkable range of society at a time when Scotland flourished as a crucible of thought and science and was made hugely wealthy through transatlantic trade. Sitters, from society’s traditional great and good to the aspiring, upwardly mobile middle classes, flocked to him for the ultimate status symbol – their portrait.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council has partnered with Kirkcudbright 2000 Ltd to present this exquisite exhibition that has come to fruition after 18 months of careful planning and preparation. Containing some 40 works, the exhibition has drawn from public and private UK collections – with many portraits never seen in public before. ‘Eye to Eye’ challenges the general opinion that Raeburn’s genius – and he never made sketches – was best directed at portraits of men. His women and children, always more private works, are full of allure and great charm.

    But there is more. What do Raeburn’s extraordinarily characterful works have to do with today’s ubiquitous selfie? His portraits define an era – directly comparable to 21st century obsessions with image. This comparison is illustrated in the exhibition.

    Curator, Amanda Herries, says: "Raeburn’s portraits are extraordinarily well-observed records of Scottish society. We could see these faces in the street any time. Elegant and flattering, yes, and the same preoccupation with image that we see everywhere today. The difference is simply that Raeburn’s sitters had only once chance to have their ‘essence’ captured and reflected, unlike the selfie generation."

    A book accompanying the exhibition, ‘Sir Henry Raeburn; the mirror of Scotland’ by Amanda Herries, priced at £12.00, will be available from 29 June. Enquiries for the book to Lily.Knott@dumgal.gov.uk.

    This exhibition has been supported by: Friends of Kirkcudbright Galleries, The Whisky Shop, The Holywood Trust, Foyle Foundation, Robin Rigg Offshore Wind.
  • Error in address on postal ballot paper for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency – postal votes remain valid

    Friday, 21 June 2024 15:39

    We have been made aware of an error in the address of a candidate on postal ballot papers issued to voters in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency.

    This error has occurred due to an administrative oversight on our part. We have apologised for this error by writing to all postal voters affected in the above constituency.

    Postal voters have been assured that their postal vote remains valid and have been asked to return their completed postal ballot paper and postal voting statement – as normal in the reply-paid envelope already provided.

    Any voter who has already returned their postal vote does not need to take any action.

    The wrong address was indicated for candidate Daniel Coleman. The correct addresses for all candidates are as follows:

    ASHMOLE, Dominic

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    BEGG, Drummond

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    COLEMAN, Daniel

    Address in the City of Edinburgh

    KIRK, Gareth

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    KIRKWOOD, David Alexander

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    MARSHALL, Kim

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    MUNDELL, David Gordon

    Address in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency

    Again, this does not affect the validity of postal voters’ ballot papers in this constituency. The full list of candidates and correct addresses are included on the Notice of Poll available on Dumfries and Galloway Council’s website at – Notice of poll UKPGE (dumgal.gov.uk).

    Information and advice has been published on Dumfries and Galloway Council’s website and through social media.

    We have consulted with the Electoral Management Board and the Electoral Commission for Scotland, and they are content with the action we have taken.

    If you have any concerns, please get in touch by calling us on 030 33 33 3000 or by emailing electionsoffice@dumgal.gov.uk.

    Dawn Roberts

    Returning Officer

  • Community Learning and Development Arrangements Praised by Education Scotland

    Friday, 21 June 2024 11:47

    Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Community Learning and Development (CLD) Partnership recently received high praise from Education Scotland following a CLD Progress Visit conducted earlier this year as part of a national inspection programme.

    The findings from the report, presented at the June meeting of the council’s Communities Committee and the Community Planning Partnership Board, commended the robust partnership arrangements that contributed to this positive outcome.

    Key partners in this successful collaboration included the council, NHS, Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, D&G College, Skills Development Scotland, along with a range of local groups, organisations, volunteers and learners. The report highlighted several strengths:

    • Strategic leadership of CLD: effective leadership driving CLD initiatives.

    • Volunteering impact: significant contributions and impact of volunteers.

    • Barrier removal: efforts to ensure support reaches those most in need.

    • Youth Work Services: increasing access to services benefiting young people.

    • Adult learning opportunities: enhancing mental health and wellbeing through adult education.

    Dumfries and Galloway received the highest confidence statement available, with three areas identified as best practices for national sharing:

    1. Youth Work Service staff and volunteer pathway.

    2. Community Asset Transfer processes.

    3. Support for young people experiencing low mental health issues in schools.

    Stephen Jack, Chair of the CLD Partnership and Lifelong Learning Manager, remarked, “CLD partners are delighted with the outcome of the recent inspection. It evidences the significant impact that CLD is having on vulnerable adults and young people within our region and underscores the vital role of local voluntary groups and organisations in building capacity and driving innovative community projects.”

  • Armed Forces Week Celebrations 2024

    Thursday, 20 June 2024 14:16

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is celebrating Armed Forces Day week with events taking place from Monday 24 June. Events are being held as part of the annual national campaign to provide everyone the opportunity to show their support for the people of the Armed Forces, past and present, including serving troops, their families, reservists, veterans and cadets.

    To start the week flag raising events are taking place across our region on Monday 24 June:

    At 10am at the Midsteeple in Dumfries, Councillor Archie Dryburgh MBE – the council’s Armed Forces Champion and winner of the Scottish Veterans Awards Role Model of The Year 2024 – will be the master of ceremonies; Councillor Maureen Johnstone, Provost of Dumfries will make a short address, and His Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for Dumfries, Major Charles Milroy TD VR DL will do a vote of thanks.

    At 11am flags will be raised at Annan Town Hall, Market Hill in Castle Douglas, Moffat Town Hall, Castle Square in Stranraer, Colliston Park in Dalbeattie, Sanquhar Tolbooth, and Langholm Town Hall. The flags will be flown until 1 July 2024.

    On Armed Forces Day itself, a parade will take place from 11.40am until 12.30pm on Saturday, 29 June in Dumfries Town Centre. The parade will be led by members of Dumfries and Annan Town Bands, followed by representatives of our retired and serving Armed Forces personnel.

    Councillor Archie Dryburgh MBE will be the master of ceremonies, the Council’s Convener, Councillor Malcolm Johnstone will make an address.

    Councillor Malcolm Johnstone, Convener, Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “Armed Forces Day is our opportunity to show our appreciation for those that have served and who continue to serve in our Armed Forces. In Dumfries and Galloway, our Armed Forces are very well supported by people from across the length and breadth of the region. A recent example of this was when many people came to line the streets of Garlieston on 6 June to mark the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day in recognition of the significant role that the village played in the landings. Reflecting on that day, there was a huge sense of respect and gratitude for those who have served and who continue to serve, further enhancing the strong support for the Armed Forces.

    "I invite you all to join us on Saturday, 29 June, as we mark Armed Forces Day 2024 to thank them. Our Council has a proud record of supporting our Armed Forces and it is my privilege and honour to participate in the event.”

    Councillor Archie Dryburgh MBE, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “I am pleased to invite all veterans, reserves, cadets, and serving personnel to come along to mark the occasion with us by being part of the parade. It is testament to the value that our citizens place on Armed Forces personnel that so many people come along to support us, and I would encourage anyone to share in the camaraderie and pride that comes from being part of this event.

    "I am also pleased to also share that an Armed Forces Day Parade will take place from 11.00am on Sunday, 7 July in the Wigtownshire Club Rugby Field, Stranraer with stalls and displays being on show between 11am and 4pm on the day."



    ENDS
  • National Award Success For Oor Laura

    Wednesday, 19 June 2024 10:05

    Youth Development Worker Laura Kiltie, based in our Council’s Youth Work team, was crowned Youth Worker of the Year at the prestigious Youth Link Scotland Awards last week.

    Laura, deeply woven into the community fabric of Dumfries and Galloway, epitomises transformative youth work in Wigtownshire. Laura provides drive and assistance to form and enhance partnerships between youth work and local schools and has also been a catalyst for significant initiatives including a dynamic young women’s network and the impactful Year of Young People programme.

    Based in Wigtownshire, Laura’s proactive, opportunity-seizing approach was praised by the judging panel, and it was noted that Laura’s commitment not only to the present but to nurturing the next generation of youth workers set her apart from the opposition.

    Speaking of the success, Laura said:

    I am delighted to receive the Youth Worker of the Year Award. It is a testament to the incredible and talented young people I have the privilege to work with, Their resilience, creativity, and potential inspires me each and every day. I am fortunate to work with an amazing team and I am surrounded by people that enable me to be my best self.”

    Dumfries and Galloway CouncilExecutive Director of Education, Skills and Community Wellbeing, Dr Gillian Brydson said:

    “I am immensely proud to say that Youth Work sits under my portfolio within the Council and this award is richly deserved by Laura. She is well respected, enthusiastic and driven and gives her very best to her role. Our Youth Work service does a phenomenal job throughout the region and awards like this allow us to highlight this invaluable work. Well done Laura, you’re an absolute star and we are all so pleased for you.”

  • Four Community Asset Transfers and the Lease of Land at Agnew Park Get Go-Ahead at FPT Committee

    Tuesday, 18 June 2024 16:54

    Elected members gave four community asset transfers (CATs) and the lease of land at Agnew Park, Stranraer, the go-ahead at today’s (Tuesday 18 June) meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee.

    Community Asset Transfers allow community groups and organisations to take over a current or surplus council asset/property, under the Community Empowerment Act, 2015.

    Since 2017, the council has transferred properties and agreed long-term leases to the value of around £3m with the number of CATs agreed now exceeding 60. As a result of this investment, communities have brought in around £28m to the region.

    Queensberry Garages in Sanquhar was first CAT on the agenda, with members agreeing the application from Sanquhar Enterprise Company.

    The site, located off Queensberry Square, has deteriorated in recent years. Community groups and local businesses need storage units, and the enterprise company aims to refurbish the garages to provide these. This will see external funding sought and invested in the local community.

    The second CAT agreed was the multi-use games area (MUGA) in Kirkland Street, St John’s Town of Dalry.

    Councillors voted to transfer the 1300 square-metre MUGA to St. John’s Town of Dalry Community Properties Trust, which has carried out wide consultation across the local community and received unanimous support for providing a safe, modern, multi-use facility in the town.

    The local school will retain free use of the MUGA, and the trust plans to secure external funding to complete resurfacing work and improve the MUGA’s condition.

    Third up was the transfer of 5295 square metres of land from the council at Blackparks Industrial Estate, Stranraer, to The Furniture Project Stranraer Ltd, trading as the Community Reuse Shop.

    Members agreed to transfer the land for £1, with the accompanying report citing a “strong” proposal “with its emphasis on volunteering, training, mitigation of poverty and community cohesion”.

    The facility is co-located on the Stranraer Zero Waste Park and the council’s waste service works closely with Furniture Project Stranraer Ltd. The Furniture Project Stranraer Ltd takes reusable materials presented by the public at five of the council’s 12 household waste recycling centres and the community asset transfer will help ensure this continues.

    The fourth CAT agreed by councillors was the transfer of the pavilion and surrounding land at Kirroughtree Avenue, Minnigaff, to Newton Stewart Men’s Shed.

    Since 2022, Newton Stewart Men's Shed has been the leaseholder on the property paying £3,000 per year. Shed members have raised £28,942 in grants, which has seen them fit out the workshops to undertake a wide range of projects and allow members to develop a breadth of skills in line with their capabilities and ambitions.

    Members of Newton Stewart Men’s Shed are mainly retired males. Members include those settling into civilian life after retiring from the armed forces, and those coming to terms with bereavement following the death of a partner.

    Separate to the Community Asset Transfers, councillors granted The Stranraer Water Sports Association a long-term lease for land at the Stranraer Waterfront, which is currently the site of the HM Coastguard Station.

    The lease on land at Agnew Park is needed for the association, as local project sponsors, to deliver the Water Sports Hub project as part of the Stranraer Waterfront Regeneration Project.

    Chair of the Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee, Cllr Ivor Hyslop said: “There was a real range of Community Asset Transfers approved today at FPT Committee, which just goes to show the thriving and entrepreneurial communities we have across the region.

    “From Men’s Sheds to reuse and recycle projects, these are just the sort of initiatives the council wishes to support and encourage, and the fact that this brings the number of Community Asset Transfers to more than 60 over the past seven years is a testament to the hard work and innovation of people living and working in Dumfries and Galloway.

    Vice-Chair, Cllr Richard Marsh commented: “I’m delighted the committee has agreed to progress these four transfers and the long-term lease of land at the Stranraer Waterfront today. Community Asset Transfers can empower local communities to develop services for local people and lever in significant external funding and investment.”

    Papers for the 18 June 2024 Finance, Procurement and Transformation meeting can be viewed using the ‘Committee Meetings’ section of our website at www.dumgal.gov.uk

    (ends)

  • Empowering Futures – Celebrating Project SEARCH Graduates

    Tuesday, 18 June 2024 15:50

    Project SEARCH proudly celebrated the graduation of its latest group of talented interns on 14 June at Dumfries and Galloway College’s Dumfries Campus Digital Hub. The event marked the successful completion of the year-long vocational programme designed to prepare young people with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum conditions for competitive employment.

    This year, nine interns aged 16+ completed the full-time course, integrating classroom instruction with hands-on work experience. Throughout the year, interns explored three different work roles, gaining valuable skills and confidence under the guidance of their tutors and job coaches.

    Gillian Brydson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Executive Director Education, Skills and Community Wellbeing, praised the graduates, saying, “These talented young people have shown remarkable dedication and resilience. The ongoing success of Project SEARCH highlights the positive impact of our council’s Employability and Skills Service and its collaboration with Dumfries and Galloway College. Their efforts have enabled the interns to embrace workplace challenges, develop new skills and grow in confidence. We are incredibly proud of the graduates’ achievements and look forward to seeing them thrive in their future careers.”

    Project SEARCH partners, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Dumfries and Galloway College, have collaborated to provide a comprehensive support system for the interns. The programmes success is reflected in the fact that two interns have already secured paid contracts with The Crichton Trust. Project SEARCH colleagues are actively engaging with another employer to establish paid employment for another intern, and conversations are ongoing with a further employer to explore potential vacancies.

    Anne Clark, Dumfries and Galloway College’s Curriculum Manager Education and Access, said, ‘This year our Project SEARCH interns have really impressed with their resilience, dedication and hard work. It is important that we celebrate their amazing achievements, and we are excited to see what the next steps in their careers will hold for them. It also provides clear evidence that Project Search uses impactful approaches, that when delivered in a nurturing with real work opportunities, supports young people into employment.

    One of the interns, Ally, shared their experience: With the help and support of DFN Project SEARCH, I was able to grow. I improved my work skills through completing three workplace rotations. I can comfortably say that completing DFN Project Search has given me the confidence and skills to set me up for both my working life and personal life.”

    All interns will continue to receive support post-programme through the councils Employability and Skills team, ensuring they have the best possible chance to secure paid employment after their time with Project SEARCH ends.

    Looking ahead, Project SEARCH is planning to expand its provision to the west of the region, in Stranraer. This expansion aims to reach more young people and provide them with the same valuable opportunities to gain employable skills and experience.

    The Project SEARCH programme is a testament to the power of collaboration between education, training and work. It offers a unique blend of classroom-style learning and real-world experience, enabling interns to attain increased independence, improved confidence and a higher likelihood of securing and sustaining employment.

    As the programme concludes another successful year, Project SEARCH is eagerly anticipating the start of its next cohort in August. The commitment of all partners involved continues to pave the way for a bright future for young people in the region.

    (ends)

  • Committee Agrees £3.2m Spend for School Move And Refurb

    Tuesday, 18 June 2024 12:30

    Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Finance, Procurement and Transformation (FPT) Committee today (Tuesday 18 June) agreed to fund the refurbishment of Dumfries Academy, and the move of Loreburn Primary School to the Minerva building within Dumfries Academy.

    The project, which has already been agreed by Members, will be delivered through the Council's strategic delivery partner, Hub South West.The move, which will see more than £3 million worth of council investment, allowsdesigndevelopment, planning and investigatory worksto commence, ahead of the refurbishment, planned for commencement in 2026.

    The decision to move Loreburn Primary School to be part of the Dumfries Academy campus was taken at Education and Learning Committee last month and today’s decision to award the funding means it is forms part of the council’s capital programme of works for 2024/25.

    Loreburn Primary school has a school roll of 175 and the move to the Minerva wing of the existing Academy building will see greater collaboration and efficiencies as well as providing an enhanced learning experience for pupils who attend.

    Across the region, the council has a number of primary and secondary schools that share a campus. The benefits of this arrangement have seen improved opportunities for learners from primary one onwards, throughout their school journey.

    Dumfries Academy has more than 600 learners currently on the school roll and has been a secondary school in Dumfries town centre for hundreds of years.

    The redevelopment works will see class spaces upgraded, a new Physical Education block created and allow for greater technology to be applied to the school.

    Executive Director of Education, Skills and Community Wellbeing, Dr Gillian Brydson welcomed today’s decision.She said:

    “This is fantastic news for learners, parents. carers and staff across both school campuses.

    "Members decided last month that the option of relocating Loreburn into Dumfries Academy was the best option from those available and through this additional investment, it allows us as a local authority to progress the works to making this move happen.

    “There will be a lot of work to do to get us to the point where the Academy is refurbished and Loreburn is into the Minerva building. I am not only confident we will get there but also I look forward to playing my part in leading both schools through this transition and into the future.”

    The report is available at COMMITTEE REPORT TEMPLATE & GUIDANCE (moderngov.co.uk)

  • Youth Beatz Donation Project

    Monday, 17 June 2024 13:56

    Youth Beatz 2024 will once again continue with the expansion of our Donation Project. Festival Attendees are invited to donate foodstuffs, toiletries, school uniform or pet care or pet food items (if they are in a position to do so). In 2023, over 1,000 items of School Uniforms and 1,950 items of food and pet food and care items were donated over the event weekend, equalling 56 crates of donated goods to 4 providers across our region.

    Entry to Youth Beatz Festival continues to be free, and the event has an important role in supporting our local communities across Dumfries and Galloway. We are looking for attendees to support the Donation Project if they are able, by bringing along and donating any of the items listed below as a donation to our local food providers and community organisations. Items can be dropped off at the entrance to the Festival at the Donation Drop Off Point which will be managed by volunteers over the event weekend.

    For this year, we are hoping for Donations of any of the following items:

    Food Items and Toiletries:

    Tinned meat/vegetables/fruit; tea/coffee; biscuits; cereal; tinned soup; pasta (dried); toiletries, baby products and rice.

    School Clothing and Supplies

    School Uniforms including blazers, ties, polo shirts, coats, trousers, shirts and shoes (these can be branded); school bags; stationary and any other items relevant to Primary and Secondary Schools.

    Pet Care and Food Items

    Dry/canned food items; adult dog and cat food; pet treats; pet beds and pet toys.

    Once again, our Youth Beatz Festival will have a Period Dignity Product Stall in the Youth Information Marketplace which will supply free period products to attendees over the event weekend. In 2023 the project distributed 16,742 items.

    A reminder that donation to the Youth Beatz Donation Project is not a condition of entry.

  • Applications to Open for Regional Cultural Fund to Boost Culture, Heritage and Tourism in the Region

    Thursday, 13 June 2024 12:14

    Dumfries and Galloway Council has announced a new funding programme for the cultural and heritage sectors of the region.

    The Regional Cultural Fund has been introduced to make grants of up to £5000 available to enhance, improve and promote community-led creative and cultural programmes and facilities in Dumfries and Galloway. The fund provides the opportunity for arts, heritage and community organisations across the region to take forward work that they could not otherwise finance.

    The application process is open from Monday 17 June until Friday 26 July.

    The programme is being taken forward in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise, Dumfries and Galloway Unlimited, the Stove Network and the Dumfries and Galloway Museums and Heritage Network.

    The grant programme has been made possible through the council securing £96,000 of funding from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund earlier this year. Harry Hay, Head of Thriving Communities at Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “This new fund can enable many cultural and heritage organisations, agencies and visitor attractions in the region to generate additional investment in their work and activities. From the Mull of Galloway to Moffat, Kirkcudbright to Kirkconnel, most communities across Dumfries and Galloway have local organisations that are dedicated to cultural, heritage or tourism development and I’m confident there will be a brilliant response to the fund.”

    Frank Hayes, the Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Unlimited said: "The UK government's Shared Property Fund is an importantadditional resource that will provide much needed financial supportto heritage and culturalprojects in Dumfries and Galloway. DG Unlimited is proud to be working with Dumfries and Galloway Council and colleagues from the cultural and heritagesectors."

    Mark Geddes, Strategy Manager for Cultural and Creative Capital from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) said: “The significance of our region’s creative economy cannot be underestimated, worth an estimated £280 million to the South of Scotland. Working in partnership we are driving forward our work to support, develop and expand hugely our valuable creative ecosystem and this fund is yet another example of that. This is a brilliant opportunity to continue the great work already underway across the region, and I would encourage organisations to apply.”

    Judith Hewitt, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Museums and Heritage Network said: “We are pleased that this new fund has been developed and are excited to see what work it supports within our wonderful museums and heritage organisations.”

    DG Unlimited is running a series of workshops on 24 and 25 June via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If you would like to attend one of these workshops, please register your interestby emailing DG Unlimited at comms.dgu@gmail.com.