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.

  • Council proposes 3 bids to Levelling Up Fund to regenerate our region.

    Thursday, 23 June 2022 10:55

    At the meeting of Full Council (28 June) Elected Members will receive a report on round two of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund. Members will be asked to approve the submission of three bids for capital investment in local infrastructure and to prioritise regeneration and growth in local places. Economic recovery Funding of £800 million is allocated for devolved nations which will support investment projects with up to £20 million of funding.

    Priority will be given to investment in regeneration and growth, in places in need and areas of low productivity and connectivity. The first round of the Fund focused on three specific themes –investment in local infrastructure and local transport schemes; regeneration and town centre investment; and cultural investment. The second phase of the LUF continues to focus on these investment themes.

    Dumfries and Galloway can submit up to three bids – one for a transport bid within our region; one other bid for projects situated within the UK Parliament constituency of Dumfries and Galloway; and one within the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency – working with the other local authorities whose authority boundary is within this – that being South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Borders Council.

    Providing Members agree, Dumfries and Galloway will make the following bids:

    Transport Bid
    The proposed transport bid for Dumfries and Galloway Council includes three interlinking and distinct projects. The strategic focus for the bid is on ‘sustainable connectivity’ across the region, combining different elements to provide a ‘metro style’ access offer in our rural region.

    The aim is to address: · Need for increased use of sustainable resource/power; · Access to ‘green’ energy and therefore future transportation for all; · Improve quality of vehicles by accelerating their supply; · Create hubs that work effectively to help regenerate centres providing better amenity for both residents and tourists.

    Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure and Travel Hubs

    The ‘rollout’ of the EV Hub model currently being delivered in Annan to five other locations across the region (Stranraer, Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Gatehouse of Fleet and Sanquhar) with other mini Hub(s) in Mid/Upper Nithsdale to create a network of ‘Hubs’ where charging is available for all EVs. The project will be led by Dumfries and Galloway Council with an estimated cost of £1.2 million per Hub.

    Public Transport

    The purchase of 16 low-floor electric buses ranging from 16 to 31 passenger seats and provision of improved bus stop infrastructure at 100 stops along core routes linking into the EV Travel Hubs. The EV buses average at £250k each and their provision will convert nearly a quarter of the public sector owned fleet from diesel to EV for a £4 million investment. Bus stop improvements are estimated at £2 million.

    Cycle Routes

    Provision of improved cycle and walking route facilities, centred on the deliverable elements of the new coast to coast cycle route between Portpatrick in the west of D&G and Eyemouth on the east coast of the Scottish Borders and on links to the Hubs. The D&G section of the new route includes construction of the fully designed path scheme from Penpont to Thornhill. These interventions, costed at £2 million, will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland, Sustrans and South of Scotland enterprise (SOSE).

    Dumfries and Galloway Constituency Bid

    This proposed bid also includes three interlinking and distinct projects with a focus on developing outdoor activities, building on the boom in staycations and the increased desire for outdoor activity that occurred because of the pandemic. The bid seeks to do this in a way that also supports town centre regeneration through re using vacant or derelict buildings, providing new focal points to attract visitors.

    Dalbeattie Rocks and Wheels

    A new facility in Dalbeattie through reuse of the vacant former primary school site to create a unique base for road cycling, mountain biking, orienteering, cross country running, climbing and water sports, including the provision of visitor accommodation. This is being developed and delivered by the Dalbeattie Community Initiative, who have been supported by the Council’s Economic Development Capital Programme. The LUF bid for this is £5.4 million. £600,000 will, in the first instance, be underwritten by the Place Based Investment Fund to enable an approved application to be submitted. All efforts will be made to minimise this amount by actively engaging with other external funders.

    Stranraer Water Sports Centre

    Developed and delivered by Stranraer Water Sports Association, this project will create an inclusive water sports hub adjacent to the marina in Stranraer and which will include a number of public facilities. It will also provide a base for water sports events, building on the success of the World Skiffie Championships, providing a competitive position from which to bid for future water sports events. Together with the marina expansion project, developed through Borderlands, this will significantly contribute to the strategic aim of repositioning Stranraer as a marine leisure destination. The bid for LUF for this project is £4.6 million, with 10% already match funded through an agreed grant from D&G Council.

    George Hotel Stranraer

    This project aim is to create an anchor attraction within Stranraer town centre through the regeneration of the former hotel site, complimenting ongoing investment in the neighbouring Stranraer Museum and the previous investment in the nearby Millennium Centre, improving the town centre for visitors. A mixed use community arts, culture and activity centre is being developed. The estimated project costs for the Council owned site are £8.7 million. Whilst the Council will facilitate the initial construction, the longer-term plan is to develop options for community based management of the centre.

    Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Constituency Bid

    The bid development for this opportunity have been prepared in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Borders Council and will make the case for investment of up to £20 million on three projects, one to be led by each of the local authorities, and in partnership with other local and regional organisations.

    Proposal for Dumfries and Galloway: Annan Harbour Regeneration Project.

    Focussed around Annan Harbour, this includes the refurbishment of a B listed former warehouse (Collett’s Building) into a hub. This includes a workshop for heritage boat craft skills; a café; meeting/community space; bunkhouse accommodation and harbourside landscape improvements, including the construction of a new footbridge. This should create a new focal point for water sports and activities. The project led by the Annan Harbour Trust, who have identified total project development costs of £9.6 million and are seeking £7.5 million from LUF.

    Co-Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Stephen Thompson said: “These are extremely worthwhile projects across the whole of our region and, providing members agree, should go a long way to regenerate our region and boost our local economy. Along with the increased footfall that the new attractions will provide some of the bids have added value, such as the transport bid which seeks to improve connectivity whist accelerating our drive to be a Net Zero carbon emission region, addressing our Council priority to ‘Urgently respond to climate change and transition to a carbon neutral region.’ “

    Co-Leader, Linda Dorward said: “These are high quality bids which, if successful, would address a number of priority projects across Dumfries and Galloway and also help to address the negative economic impacts of the COVID pandemic. With investment, and by working with a range of appropriate partners and initiatives, we can reinvigorate the local economy and deliver long-lasting positive impacts. I look forward to seeing a positive outcome that this funding would make and enjoying the benefits of these fantastic projects in our local communities.”

    ENDS

  • CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY 2021/22

    Tuesday, 21 June 2022 17:08

    Members of the Council’s Finance, Procurement and Transformation (FPT) committee has today (21 June) received a report on the financial progress of the capital programme for the current financial year.

    Key recommendations are:

    • Note the overall Capital programme outturn position for 2021/22 is £23.646 Million spend against a budget of £33.0 Million, which reflects the utilisation of 72% of the agreed funding.
    • Note that net Capital Receipts of £0.514 Million were generated in 2021/22.
    • Note the development fund costs incurred.
    • AGREE that, given the extent to which funding is already committed and also to recognise the impact of inflationary pressures on the costs of projects, the £9.647 Million funding remaining available at the end of 2021/22 is carried forward within the respective projects/asset classes to support.

    The 2021/22 final outturn position shows spend of £23.646 Million against a budget of £33.047 Million, representing 72% utilisation. This outturn position reflects a particularly challenging year for the Council with Lead Officers highlighting difficulties in terms of supply chain issues and resourcing of projects (both internal and external).

    The impact of Covid 19 restrictions and the subsequent supply chain issues has contributed significantly to delays in the delivery of capital projects over the past 2 financial years. Feedback from the Lead Officers/Project Leads has indicated that the vast majority of the slippage incurred in 2021/22 is fully committed but projects have not been able to be progressed as timeously as initially anticipated due to this. In addition, inflationary pressures are having an increasingly significant impact on the cost of capital projects. A review is currently underway to determine inflationary pressures, resourcing challenges and supply chain issues.

    For all recent priority projects added to the Capital Investment Strategy an Optimism Bias allowance has been added to estimated project costs. This allowance is designed to protect against inflation and any unexpected issues that arise as the project progresses. However, the adequacy of these allowances is now being further reviewed given the current inflationary pressures and project delays.

    Given the extent to which the funding being carried forward is already committed to agreed projects, and also to recognise the impact of inflationary pressures on the cost of these projects, it is recommended that Members agree to the carry forward of the unused funding of £9.647 Million against the relevant Priority Projects and Asset Classes to support the progression of projects over the upcoming period.

    Chair of FPT Committee, Carolyne Wilson said: “In a difficult financial climate and amidst ongoing budget cuts the Council continues to invest in a wide range of projects across the region.With investment in priority projects, which includes some large infrastructure projects across the region, we are very positive on the impact the Capital Investment Strategy has on Dumfries and Galloway and our approach to working with communities to deliver capital investment has proven to work.“

    Vice Chair, Dougie Campbell said: “The COVID pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and it has had an impact on our Council budgets. But through shrewd investment we are committed to investing in our region to grow our local economy and support our communities though our Capital investments in roads, schools and local parks and reshaping and revitalising our towns.”

  • Council Adapts To Financially Challenging Times

    Tuesday, 21 June 2022 17:03

    Members of the Council’s Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee have received a report today (21 June) which states that the ongoing impact of Covid-19 restrictions and the related response and recovery measures has remained a key area of focus for financial monitoring throughout the financial year, alongside the ongoing overview of non-Covid-19 related issues, such as inflationary pressures.

    Committee Members will be asked to:

    • note that all Services have maintained spending within agreed budget levels.
    • note that Unallocated General Fund Balances as at 31 March 2022 have been increased to £8.1 Million, equating to 2% of the annual planned expenditure, in line with the agreed corporate policy and budget principles agreed by Full Council.
    • note that there are currently unallocated resources of £11.671 Million available within Reserves and that the utilisation of these resources will be subject to further Member consideration as part of the development of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Council Plan;
    • note the amounts held by the Council in a number of funds for specific projects and commitments, including those associated with the COVID 19 response.
    • agree that a review is undertaken of amounts held within Committed Reserves and Service Reserves with a view to releasing amounts for further Member consideration.


    Despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the pressures this caused on Council budgets and services, all Services have maintained spending within their agreed budgeted levels at the end of the financial year.

    Where services have underspent against their agreed budget levels, the Council’s Budget Flexibility Scheme makes provision for these underspent amounts to be transferred to Service Reserves, within agreed parameters and with member approval.

    As anticipated, and previously reported, the financial implications of COVID-19 in 2021/22 were materially lower than those incurred in 2020/21 and were primarily associated with the loss of budgeted income, particularly within Leisure & Sport.

    Previous reports have highlighted a potential increase in energy costs based on increased ventilation requirements, primarily within the schools estate. However, energy costs have been contained within agreed budget levels as the Council’s total energy consumption levels for 2021/22 remained lower than pre-pandemic levels, with the increased consumption levels within Schools being wholly offset through a decrease in consumption across the non-school’s estate. The forward purchasing of energy at a national level has protected the Council from increased energy unit prices in 2021/22, although these increases will impact on energy costs going forward. A detailed review of estimated energy consumption levels for 2022/23, and the financial impact of increased Energy unit prices, is currently being carried out.

    Chair of Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee, Carolyne Wilson said: “Our Council faces exceptional challenges, including further reductions in Scottish Government support. The pandemic has added to our already existing financial challenges, but though prudent measures we will face the ongoing inflationary pressures and manage our revenue accordingly.”

    Vice Chair, Dougie Campbell said: “The cost of living crisis is hitting us all hard, and our Council will need to adapt and save in order to meet our future financial challenges. Services may need to alter, work practices may change, but citizens can rest assured that we will make best use of the funding available to us and be practical and shrewd in our financial planning.”

  • Probationers set to start in Dumfries and Galloway

    Tuesday, 21 June 2022 14:20

    Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education and Learning Directorate has welcomed its new cohort of probationer teachers as they begin their induction training prior to the start of the new term.

    70 new teachers have joined Education and Learning Directorate this week.

    A key part of the trainee induction scheme is a 2-day induction with input from Education and Learning officers and the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Following the initial days, the new teachers will have an induction programme throughout the year including training days and several twilight sessions.

    Chair of the Education and Learning committee, Richard Brodie, said: “We are ready to support our new probationers wholeheartedly and we look forward to welcoming them to Dumfries and Galloway Council. Like many of our children and young people, our new probationers have had to learn online as part of their training, so they will understand the challenges that our young people are currently facing and be able to support them. We wish them all the best for rewarding careers that will have a positive impact on thousands of young people in the coming years.”

    Councillor George Jamieson, Vice Chair of the Education and Learning committee said: “Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority of our Council. Recruiting a high number of probationer teachers, is a clear sign that we mean what we say. This is a significant step for education in Dumfries and Galloway. At a time where education is striving to return to a sense of normality, it’s wonderful to welcome these new teachers into our region. Investing in the future, supporting and indeed learning from recent graduates, as they join us fresh from their studies, is hugely significant in a progressive education system. "

  • Armed Forces Day 2022

    Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:29

    Arrangements for Armed Forces Day 2022

    Armed Forces Day Flag raising events will take place across our region to show appreciation for the work of the Armed Forces as follows:

    Armed Forces Flag Raising – Monday, 20 June 2022

    Time

    Location

    10.00am

    Midsteeple, Dumfries – Councillor Tracey Little, Provost of Dumfries will make a short address and Her Majesty’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Dumfries John Henderson will say the vote of thanks

    11.00am

    Market Hill, Castle Douglas

    11.00am

    Town Hall, Moffat

    11.00am

    Castle Square, Stranraer

    11.00am

    Colliston Park, Dalbeattie

    11.00am

    Tolbooth, Sanquhar

    Flags will also be raised on Annan and Langholm Town Halls. Flags will be flown until Monday, 27 June 2022

    These events are being held as part of the annual Armed Forces Day national campaign to provide everyone with the opportunity to show their support for the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present, including serving troops, their families, Reservists, Veterans and Cadets.

    Armed Forces Day Parade – Saturday, 25 June 2022

    An Armed Forces Day Parade will take place from 11.40am until 12.30pm on Saturday, 25 June 2022 in Dumfries Town Centre. The Parade will be led by members of Dumfries Town and Pipe Bands, followed by representatives of our retired and serving Armed Forces personnel and by members of our local Cadet Units. Financial support has been granted for the event by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

    Councillor Archie Dryburgh MBE will be the Master of Ceremonies; the Council’s Civic Head Stephen Thompson will make an address; the President of Legion Scotland, Major William Turner will be in attendance; and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries Ms Fiona Armstrong inspect the front rank of the Royal British Legion Scotland representatives.

    Councillor Stephen Thompson, Civic Head, 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 and I invite you all to join us on the day to thank them. Our Council has a proud record of supporting our Armed Forces and it is my privilege and honour to participate in this event’.

    Councillor Linda Dorwood, Deputy Civic Head, Dumfries and Galloway Council, said

    “This year’s Armed Forces Day is particularly significant since it falls in the same year as the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands War. It’s important to us that Dumfries and Galloway Veterans and Ex-Service personnel who fought in that conflict will be taking part so that people across the region can show their appreciation for the efforts of our Armed Forces in this conflict; and also show our respect for all those residents, past and present, who put their lives on the line for their country.”

    ENDS

  • Youth Beatz: food donation

    Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:29

    Food Donation Project Returns for Youth Beatz 2022!

    Youth Beatz Festival will take place at Parkfarm Showfield, Dumfries on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2022!

    The event, co-designed with young people, is Scotland’s Largest Free Music Festival but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Community and volunteering are at the core of the Youth Beatz ethos and the event is focussed on providing a free activities, opportunities and experiences for children, young people and their families at no cost.

    In 2019, following on from discussions around the ever-increasing demand for foodbanks across Dumfries and Galloway, the youth steering group established the Food Donation Project which asked all ticket holders who were in a position to donate, to bring along an item of foodstuff for donation when they entered the event. The project was a success with over 48,200 individual items donated over the course of the weekend with the donations divided between 3 food providers.

    For 2022, in light of the increasing cost of living, the youth steering group feel the need for this project to return is greater than ever. All ticketholders for 2022, are invited to bring along one food item that they can deposit in the Food Donation Drop Box at the entrance on the festival days if they are able to do so. Donation is not a condition of entry.

    We have recently been working alongside Food Providing Organisations from across the region and are delighted to have 6 providers on board for this year’s event from every locality in Dumfries and Galloway. Volunteers from 3 providers will be on hand each day at the gate to collect and sort donations.

    Paul Smith, from The Fed Up Café, Stranraer said “YouthBeatz is a great example of how Dumfries and Galloway Council and a group of local charities can come together to work in partnership with the local community to receive donations of food that then benefit people within our community whom are greatly affected by poverty. The food, so generously donated by young people, is then used by the groups to produce food parcels and hot meals that can assist in the alleviation of food poverty across Dumfries & Galloway.

    We are proud to be working with Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Youth Work, Poverty and Inequalities Teams and other Food Bank groups for a second time since 2019 and we very much hope this is a permanent fixture at Youthbeatz”.

    The organisations involved in the Food Donation Project 2022 are:

    • Kate’s Kitchen
    • Lochside Community Association
    • The Fed Up Café
    • Rhins Basics Banks
    • Summerhill Community Association
    • Stepping Stones, Castle Douglas

    Any donation would be greatly appreciated however it is asked that donations are items such as tinned meat, vegetables and fruit, biscuits, cereals, pasta and rice, baby products inc. formula and toiletries. Items that are perishable or have a shelf life of days or weeks are not able to be accepted i.e. frozen items, milk, cheese, yoghurts, eggs, bread, or fresh meat or vegetables.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Chair of Communities Committee, Councillor Archie Dryburgh said “The Food Donation Project returning will enable many food providers across our region to get more packages to families in their local communities. More than ever before we are seeing increased use of food banks due to the rising cost of living crisis and this initiative will have a direct impact on children, young people and adults most in need”.

    This was echoed by Councillor John Campbell, Vice-Chair of Communities Committee who said “The current cost of living crisis is putting more pressure on individuals and families than ever before and this project will support Third Sector Organisations to provide for our communities in need. I am grateful to the young people who have been involved in the planning phases who have made the decision to bring this worthwhile and impactful project back for a second year”.

    If you would like more information about what is on for this year’s Youth Beatz Festival, please ensure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and check out our website www.youthbeatz.co.uk

  • Youth Beatz: Luminarium

    Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:29

    Enter a world of wonder at Youth Beatz 2022!

    Youth Beatz is welcoming the Arboria II Luminarium to the festival site this year on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June!

    Since 1992, Architects of Air’s luminaria have enchanted over 3 million visitors in more than 40 countries around the world- the Arboria II has been to Madrid, Sydney, Barcelona, Los Angeles and now it is coming to Dumfries for the first time Visitors have the chance to explore the sculpture, experiencing the beauty of light and colour as they move through a dazzling maze of domes, columns and branches of the Luminarium. The Luminarium is half the size of a Rugby Pitch and will immerse people in a different place whilst at Youth Beatz.

    The Arboria II is inspired by the beauty of natural geometry and by Islamic architecture, featuring winding passages of small domes inspired by repetitious forms found in the bazaars of Iran. The luminosity of light and colour inside is created purely by the light shining through the exhibition. Architects of Air originally grew out of a theatre project for people with learning disabilities and the Luminarium is fully accessible and embracing all ages, all abilities, cultures and communities.

    The 40+ meter exhibition is truly unique experience for festival go-ers at this year’s event who will have the chance to be immersed in a world of light and colour.

    The Arboria II Luminarium will be open to Youth Beatz ticket holders between 12pm – 6pm on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June. With those under the age of 16 required to be accompanied by an adult (1 adult for every 4 children and young people). There is no cost for entry to the Luminarium. Please note individuals must leave their shoes and belongings at the reception area whilst going through the experience.

    To get a glimpse into world of luminaria, please visit: http://www.architects-of-air.com/

    A spokesperson on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council said “I have no doubt the Luminarium will be a highlight for those attending Youth Beatz Festival, the scale of exhibition will ensure the Arboria II is an unmissable aspect of the event. Architects of Air are world renowned and their commitment and passion for making culture and art an inclusive sensory experience and we are delighted to be welcoming their exhibition at Youth Beatz 2022”.

    If you would like more information, please contact us on youthbeatz.info@dumgal.gov.uk or call 01387 260243.

  • Early Intervention success

    Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:28

    The Council’s Social Work Services Committee [10.06.22] will consider a report updating members on the progress of the Transformation Change Agenda: Early and Effective Intervention Family Support.

    The Committee will be asked to note the progress and achievements of the Family Support Service.

    In July 2020, the Council agreed support for investment in early and effective intervention to fulfil the costs needed to deliver transformation change, enabling work towards cost avoidance.

    An investment of £1.185m was agreed, representing £535,000 a year for 3 years, to support early and effective intervention family support work along with an investment of £70,000 a year for 3 years to increase the commissioned service with Third Sector providers.

    The Family Support Team was formed in November 2020 to lead and deliver on the Early and Effective Intervention. The team has subsequently supported 129 families, involving 226 children.

    Work continues throughout the region, including collaborating with the Children’s and Families Social Work Services Area Teams, partners, and third sector organisations, including NHS Drugs and Alcohol Service.

    Reasons for referral include neglect, poor home conditions, poverty, physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, poor parental mental health, drug/alcohol misuse, parenting capacity, help needed with routines and boundaries, and managing challenging behaviour. In addition, some children have been referred because of poor school attendance, children`s mental health, and isolation. The team also works with some families from pre-birth, supporting with early parenting.

    Key successes include children remaining in their families and communities, and a reduction in children needing a statutory social work involvement.

    Working with more families on a voluntary basis means that social work intervention can come to an end earlier in a planned timescale when family safety and support plans have been achieved.

    Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Social Work Services committee, said: “I’m pleased that our commitment to a policy of early intervention in family support is making a substantial difference and improving the outcomes for some of our most vulnerable young people.”

    Councillor Iain Howie, vice chair, said: “The evidence shows that our early intervention approach is significantly improving the life chances for vulnerable families and young people throughout the region.”

  • Youth Beatz: Fringe

    Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:28

    The Youth Beatz Fringe Festival is taking place across Dumfries and Galloway from Friday 17th June – Thursday 23rd June. With lots of new additions to the programme as well as family fun days there is certain to be something for all young people.

    From Silent Discos to ‘Schools Out Fun Days’, a Pool Party and much more, there is a FREE fun and engaging programme being delivered in local communities across all 4 areas of Dumfries and Galloway.

    The Fringe kicks off in Victoria Halls in Annan on Friday 17th June (7pm-9pm) with Beatz Challenge Disco, young people can dance the night away as well as enduring challenges such as Pole Joisting and Sumo Wrestling.

    At the same time (7pm-9pm) in Hillview Leisure Centre in Kelloholm, the 1st ‘Silent Beatz’ of the programme takes place. Enjoy a silent disco, inflatables and much more. This event will also head to McMillan Hall, Newton Stewart on Wednesday 21st June (6pm-9pm)

    Saturday 18th June, the Fringe will move to Colliston Park in Dalbeattie holding a Family Fun Day, from 1pm-3.30pm and then moving to Stranraer for a Beach Themed Party at Agnew Park Pavilion at 6pm-8pm.

    Sunday 19th June, King Edward Park in Lockerbie will be the venue for a Family Fun Day taking place from 1pm-3.30pm and in the evening the fringe will go back to the original home of Youth Beatz - Dock Park, Dumfries (6pm-8pm) for a ‘Mini Fringe’ with assorted activities.

    Monday 20th June, Will see the 1st ever ‘Schools Out’ Fun Day taking place at Wallacehall Academy and then on Thursday 23rd June at Moffat Academy. These fun days are for pupils within the 2 schools and there will be lots of fun and exciting activities taking place. Hopefully these will be a success and can be rolled out to other schools in D&G in future Youth Beatz Fringes.

    Also on Monday 20th June, another 1st for the Youth Beatz Fringe is ‘Beatz Pool Party’. This will take place in Castle Douglas Swimming Pool 7.30pm-8.30pm and is for 12-17year olds. Booking is essential for this event and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please watch our social media platforms on how to book.

    Tuesday 21st June, takes the Fringe to Goldie Park in Sandside, NW Dumfries with ‘Silent Beatz in the Park’ A new location for the fringe and here we will host an outdoor Silent disco and other activities including outdoor laser tag.

    Finishing off the week on Thursday 23rd June, hosted in the festival site at Park Farm, Dumfries is the regional #We Care Festival 2022. This event is a fun filled day for Care Experienced Young People from all across Dumfries and Galloway and booking is required. For more information, please contact: championsboard@dumgal.gov.uk

    All events are FREE to attend.

    With the exception of the ‘Beatz Pool Party’ and the ‘#We Care Festival 2022’ which require booking there are no requirements to book, just turn up and enjoy.

    Councillor Archie Dryburgh Chair of Communities Committee said “The Youth Beatz Fringe has a fantastic range of opportunities and activities for young people all over Dumfries and Galloway to get involved in. It is fantastic to see such a great range of activities offering young people an action-packed programme to get involved in within their local communities.

    This is all thanks to our excellent award-winning staff and volunteers.

    Councillor John Campbell Vice Chair of Communities Committee said “It is great to see the Youth Beatz Fringe take events and activities to young people across the region. It looks to be a very varied and full programme with something for everyone to enjoy” A great start to the Youth Beatz Festival.

    Elli Wadsworth, Ward Youth Councillor for Mid Galloway and Wigtown West and Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council Chairperson said “Youth Beatz Festival is so much more than the main event weekend and it’s excellent to see such a broad range of events being delivered across Dumfries and Galloway as part of the Fringe this year, at no cost for young people!”

  • Scotland's Youth Team of the Year Praised

    Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:54

    Stranraer’s Millennium FC u13s Girls team was awarded the Youth Team of the Year accolade at the recent MG Alba Scottish Women’s Football Awards 2022.

    The showpiece Awards event took place at Glasgow Hilton, where coaches, players and parents were present.

    Winning the award was quite an achievement in the face of stiff competition from Glasgow City Development u15s, Rangers FC u16s, and Rangers FC u19s.

    The judges commented:

    “Despite significant geographical challenges, Millennium FC has provided opportunities to local girls not only to participate but also to win. They exemplify the best aspects of the grassroots game.”

    Participating in the Southwest regional area, which covers Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, Millennium initially played 12 games, winning 11 of them. Teams were then allocated 1 of 3 leagues, with Millennium entering the top-seeded league, which included Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock, and Queen of the South.

    The plan was for Millennium, which has no senior team, to learn and develop its players. However, a first game win against pre-season favourites Hamilton boosted confidence and the team never looked back. The team went on to win all its league fixtures, except for one draw, and clinch the league title as top scorers. The team also reached the quarter-final stage of the League Cup, losing the match in a penalty shootout.

    The team of 15 girls from Stranraer and 1 from Newton Stewart travelled more than 1,500 miles to fulfil its fixtures. A spokesperson said:

    “As a grassroots club, we set out managing expectations and hoping that our girls would learn and develop as players. However, our girls showed their commitment and dedication and exceeded our expectations. They’re just a brilliant bunch of girls who have shown dedication, determination, and a drive to succeed. They’ve been real ambassadors for the club and area. Now, the younger girls and boys at the club are looking at what they’ve done and want to emulate them. The girls have shown that if you put the work in, listen to your coaches, and strive to learn and improve, that the unexpected and unlikely is possible.”

    Dumfries and Galloway Council co-leaders, Cllr Stephen Thompson and Cllr Linda Dorward said of the achievement:

    “This national recognition is absolutely fantastic for all the players, coaches and volunteers associated with the club. It takes a phenomenal level of dedication from all concerned to perform at the top level and compete against some of the best clubs in Scottish football. It just goes to show that team work, talent and skill can allow you to go toe to toe with some of the most well-resourced football clubs in Scotland. We’re immensely proud of Millennium FC and wish them all the best for the future.”
  • Council procurement – Come along and meet the buyer.

    Wednesday, 15 June 2022 09:58

    Dumfries and Galloway Council’s vision is to create opportunity for all, support ambition, promote prosperity and establish Dumfries and Galloway as the best place to live, work and learn. Hand in hand with this vision is the need to spend our public funds wisely and boost our local economy whilst doing so.

    One way that our Council does this is through our Procurement Strategy, which has just been refreshed and will be presented to Members of Finance, Procurement and Transformation committee (FPT) on 21st June.

    We are particularly keen to work with local suppliers, where possible. With this in mind, our Council’s Procurement team, in conjunction with other services and local partners, is holding ‘Meet the Buyer’ events in Dumfries and Stranraer to provide local providers and contractors with an opportunity to meet the teams, discuss what services are needed, and promote their own businesses.

    The events will include exhibitions from local organisations including, Loreburn Housing Association, DGHP/Wheatley Group, NHS Dumfries, and Galloway. Representatives will also be in attendance from SDP, Scotland Excel, Business Gateway and the South of Scotland Enterprise.

    These events are a chance for businesses to meet, network and find out more about the different contracting opportunities. These take place in Dumfries on Wednesday 22 June at The Bridge from 10am-2pm and in Stranraer on Friday 1 July at The Ryan Centre from 10am-2pm.


    The f
    ull agenda can be viewed on the registration links.

    Register to attend the event(s) at: Dumfries and Galloway Meet the Buyer Roadshow | All events and training listings | Supplier Development Programme (sdpscotland.co.uk) (Dumfries) and Dumfries and Galloway Meet the Buyer Roadshow | All events and training listings | Supplier Development Programme (sdpscotland.co.uk) (Stranraer).

    Chair of the Council’s FPT Committee, Carolyne Wilson said: “This will be a very worthwhile event and I would encourage local suppliers to come along and meet our Council teams. I think it’s often easier to do business with someone if you have already made contact with them and met them face-to-face. This is also an opportunity to find out about exactly which services our council requires. I know you will be made very welcome.

    Vice Chair, Dougie Campbell said: “We are very keen to work with local businesses and suppliers to ensure the best services, but also to provide the greatest opportunities for our local business economy. We are aware that the procurement process isn’t always the easiest thing to navigate, but by meeting our officers at these events you can be assured that there is always someone there to help if needed.”

    ENDS

  • Providing affordable housing across D&G

    Wednesday, 08 June 2022 16:13

    A Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) sets out a Local Authority’s strategic investment objectives for affordable housing and Gypsy/Traveller accommodation. A five year programme which is updated regularly, it is the key document or identifying proposed projects needing funding. The Council, as the strategic housing authority, uses the plan to inform Scottish Government investment.

    Members of Economy and resources Committee (14 June) will receive a report on the latest progress of this successful Plan and be asked to agree to the inclusion of a new project in the SHIP. Cunninghame Housing Association (CHA) have requested that the Council includes the building of 58 social rented homes, with a mix of houses, bungalows and 2 wheelchair accessible properties, at Port Road, Dalbeattie.

    As we all experience the current cost of living crisis, the development of high quality, affordable, energy efficient dwellings aimed at tackling a range of socio-economic challenges is extremely important. The provision of secure homes that have a positive effect on the lives of people living in our region is crucial, particularly for young families, those living on low incomes, the homeless or those with specialist housing needs. Rent affordability plays a vital role in tackling poverty with high housing costs being one of the biggest problems.

    The economic benefit of delivering new affordable housing has the additional benefit of enabling construction workers to gain secure employment or training opportunities in the building sector. In addition to new housing, a number of SHIP developments aim to bring brownfield sites back into use, regenerate empty buildings and contribute to the sustainability of town centres and the look of the environment. One of our Council’s 5 priorities is to ‘Urgently respond to climate change and transition to a carbon neutral region’. Finding a productive use for derelict sites can help to address climate change by limiting urban sprawl, avoiding the loss of green space, and reducing the need for travel. Building affordable homes within walking distance of local services also enables people to live better, healthier lives and supports the Council’s net zero carbon ambitions.

    In 2021 the Scottish Government wrote to all Local Authorities advising them of their aim to conclude the delivery of their previous 50,000 affordable homes target during the course of 2021-22. The SG intends to work with the housing sector to deliver a further 110,000 affordable homes over the 10 years up to 2032. At least 70% of those homes will be for social rent, helping to tackle child poverty and homelessness, and 10% will be in rural locations. As well as this ambition to increase the supply of affordable homes, they will take action to ensure those homes help to create strong and vibrant places and are of high quality.

    To allow D&G Council to plan the delivery of housing supply for 2021/22 to 2025/26, a total RPA of £106.148m was allocated from the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) to the region. This is increased by development partners own finance, and further investment, meaning that successful delivery of the SHIP will enable investment of a significantly greater sum than the Scottish Government initial allocation.

    The Scottish Government has highlighted that our Council has a clear focus on delivery of affordable housing and that we have identified key partners to help identify and provide more specialist housing such as larger properties, wheelchair and zero carbon properties.

    Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Katie Hagmann said: The SHIP is an important factor in our work to address many of our Council’s current priorities. In addition to supporting the Council’s Net zero ambitions it also helps to ‘Build the local economy’, ‘Provide the best start in life for all our children’ and helps to ‘Protect our most vulnerable people’. There are clear links between good quality housing and improved health, and a portion of the new housing will be designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities, so no one is left out. The SHIP also helps to form strong partnerships with our local housing associations, and I am pleased to see this plan go from strength to strength, year on year.”

    Vice Chair, Sean Marshall said: “It’s a positive sign that housing associations are asking for new developments to be included in the SHIP. Providing Members agree to progress the new sites, this will not only help bring much needed housing to the area but will also represent a huge boost to the construction industry and the local economy. The regeneration of some parts of our region are dependent on attracting new businesses: these new businesses will bring new jobs and people into our communities so we must invest and plan ahead in order to accommodate them.”

    Ends

  • Tackling Fuel Poverty to address the Cost of Living Crisis

    Wednesday, 08 June 2022 16:09

    A household is defined to be in fuel poverty if more than 10% of its net income (after housing costs) is required to heat the home and pay for other fuel costs, with not enough money left for a decent standard of living. If more than 20% of net income is needed, the household is defined as being in extreme fuel poverty. The Area Based Scheme (ABS) aims to reduce fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions for home owners and those living in private rental accommodation.

    Members of the Council’s Economy and Resources Committee (14 June) will be asked to agree the projects for Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Energy Efficient Scotland Area Based Scheme (ABS) 2022/23 and note the funding allocation of £2,371,919 in 2021/22.

    Due to the successful delivery of the 2020/21 scheme, it Has been possible to draw down additional funds from the Scottish Government, with the allocation increasing to £2,504,222.50. This allowed 272 homes in the private sector to receive solid wall insulation (SWI). Of these, 248 properties were owner occupied and 24 privately rented. In the first eight years of the ABS Projects, there have been more than 1,872 energy efficiency measures installed across Dumfries and Galloway with a total spend of £16,333,158.00.

    ABS draws on a range of data sources, including home analytics data, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), child poverty and the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) and has the following objectives:

    • Provide measures to private households in or at risk of fuel poverty that help to reduce energy usage and costs.
    • Deliver both the Fuel Poverty and Heat in Buildings Strategies.
    • Enable and support eligible homes receiving support from ABS to have achieved an EPC rating of C or better by 2030.
    • Secure Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and other funding/investment to maximise the impact of ABS projects and funding.
    • Administer and manage the ABS programme to ensure it is delivered fairly and effectively through transparent, timely and robust processes.

    Our Council continues to ensure that funding is be targeted at those in most need. Research has evidenced that patterns of deprivation in our rural region are complex. Unfortunately there are many households living in dispersed locations throughout the countryside that live in poverty.

    To date this scheme has successfully installed insulation in 1800 homes across the region and robust measures are required to meet the high safety standards of this scheme. The insulant installed through this scheme is in accordance with British Standard BS EN 13501-1:2018,the system has been tested and approved by the British Board of Agreement (BBA) and is compliant with Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 for use in homes under 11m (3 storeys).

    The report being presented at Committee recommends that Council’s previous approach is continued to ensure investment is evenly distributed to assist with addressing fuel poverty across the whole region. All targeted projects will act as a ‘satellite’ location to allow installation to eligible rural properties, but the method should be refined as follows:

    · Area 1 - Central D&G SWI - This area will be a continued project targeting streets which extend the current Lochside Project and a previous project in the Lincluden area. This area is within the bottom 10% of the SIMD for income, health and employment. Over 50% of the working population are also classed as being income deprived.

    · Area 2 – East D&G SWI - The focus of this area is to continue to target the rural areas that are in the bottom three deciles for geographical access based on data from SIMD 2016. We will aim to install External Wall Insulation (EWI) to a mix of hard-to-treat cavity properties in Eastriggs. This area also has low income indicators from the bottom 40% SIMD 2016.

    · Area 3 – West D&G SWI - This area will be a continued project targeting streets which extend the Stranraer Project. The targeted area of Stranraer is in the bottom 25% of the SIMD or below and households in this region have a 60% probability of being in fuel poverty based on current home analytics data. Almost 50% of the working age population is income deprived and within the bottom 20% for employment and health based on SIMD 2016 Data.

    Within each area, each householder application will be assessed to identify those in extreme fuel poverty. The extreme fuel poverty grant will be applied to maximise measures for those most in need. Whole street approaches are implemented by identifying more than one household and carrying out simultaneous works. This results in cost efficiencies, reduces customer contributions and allows more homes to benefit from the scheme.

    Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Katie Hagmann said: “We are determined to tackle fuel poverty in all its forms and in our rural region this scheme is essential. One of our Council’s priorities is to protect our most vulnerable people.Schemes such as this allow us to do exactly that.By making improvements to homes throughout the region we’re not only reducing fuel poverty, which is absolutely vital, particularly given the current cost of living crisis, but also goes a long way to reducing our carbon footprint.”

    Vice Chair, Sean Marshal said: “Hopefully the measures outlined in the report will reduce householder bills, reducing the huge impact of the current energy price rises.In a rural area like Dumfries and Galloway this project is essential to addressing some of the causes of poverty in our region. Poverty places everyone experiencing it in impossible situations such as having to choose on a daily basis whether to heat their home or eat, and I am strongly behind this Energy Efficient scheme and hope that it will help alleviate some of the daily issues facing residents in D&G.”

    ENDS

  • Dalbeattie Primary will Fly the Flag at Jubilee

    Tuesday, 31 May 2022 15:45

    Dalbeattie Primary is delighted to have been selected as one of the 200 schools, from throughout the Commonwealth, whose art work will be featured on silk flags, which will be on show during the pageant for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee along The Mall on route to Buckingham Palace on Sunday 5thJune.

    The Primary 4/5 class took part in the competition to create artwork as part of ‘The River of Hope’ project organised by the Thames Festival Trust. Depute Headteacher, Alex Howie, worked with the Primary 4/5 pupils to explore the history and biodiversity of the local ‘River Urr.’ Learners found out about important local history associated with sites along the river's banks as well as its wildlife and biodiversity. A particular focus was the Atlantic Salmon. In the past, the school has been pleased to have taken part in ‘Salmon in the Classroom,’ a project run by Galloway Fisheries Trust, which not only taught young people about the fish’s lifecycle but also alerted learners to the importance of safeguarding numbers of salmon in our river.

    The children were aware of the possible effects of climate change on fish populations. At present, however, the message is one of hope and this was reflected in the artwork produced by the children. The pupils saved up their food packaging and discarded wrapping paper to recycle the materials into fish scales for their collages of salmon fish. In addition to these images, the children’s letters to Her Majesty The Queen about climate change, including messages of hope for the future of our planet, were re-imaged and overlaid on the children’s profiles in the style ofpostage stamps. These were submitted to form the other side of the same silk flag.

    Thanks go to local teacher and former school pupil Steven Wilson who helped with the graphic elements.

    The flags will be danced along as part of the pageant to highlight the Queen’s concern and care for the natural environment and the future of our planet.

    Depute Headteacher, Alex Howie, said “Dalbeattie Primary is so proud to play its part in this important historical occasion to celebrate the longest serving reign of a British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.As an eco school, we were also delighted to make the climate and the environment a focus of this project. We are so excited to hear the news that we have been selected and are looking forward to seeing our art work reproduced on one of the 200 silk flags.”

    Dalbeattie Primary Headteacher, Elizabeth Duncan, said “I am very proud of the children and staff for all the thought and hard work that went into this project. It is an honour for our school to be part of this historicevent.”

    For more information about the project please see:

    https://thamesfestivaltrust.org/river-of-hope/

    https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/event/platinum-pageant/

  • D&G Full Council agrees to new Administration

    Tuesday, 24 May 2022 17:19

    Dumfries and Galloway Council [24.05.2022] has agreed to a new Administration between SNP, Labour and the Independent Group, with Councillor Stephen Thompson as Convenor of The Council, and Co-Leader alongside Councillor Linda Dorward who is also Depute Convenor, working with Councillor Richard Brodie, Leader of the Independent Group.

    In a joint statement, Councillors Thompson, Dorward and Brodie said:

    “This will be a new Administration with a new outlook, but shared ambitions and goals for the advantage of Dumfries and Galloway and we are very much looking forward to working together.

    “Our partnership will be built on mutual trust and understanding, and we are confident we can work inclusively with all Elected Members from all groups to the benefit of the region. We are engaging in a way that does politics differently and have found a way to agree on what’s best for local communities, whilst going forward and seeking consensus on a case by case basis, with colleagues.

    “Despite our political differences, we will work jointly on what really matters to the people in all our communities across our region.

    “The administration is committed to including all Councillors in the decision making processes of the Council, through joint working and developing a Council Plan.

    All groups in our administration are committed to tackling the cost of living crisis, and protecting, as far as we can, our most vulnerable individuals and communities from its effects.

    “We are determined to provide the best opportunities for our children and young people and will continue to drive forward our Council’s innovative plans for education.

    “We’re ambitious for our local economy, to promote our region’s traditional strengths – farming and forestry, tourism, food and drink, culture, leisure, energy, and the environment – and seek new opportunities for economic development.

    “We aspire to regenerate our town centres, to improve the connectivity of our region, to develop the skills of our people, and to attract others to take up employment, live here, and visit this most beautiful part of Scotland.

    “This Council is passionate about delivering the services which are needed in our region and we have agreed to work together on our shared priorities. With 27 councillors over the three groups providing an overall majority. We can provide the strong and stable leadership needed to deliver our ambitions and those of the people of Dumfries and Galloway.”


    The Council also agreed on the size of committees, proportionality, and committee chairs and vice chairs.

    Economy and Resources
    Chair: Katie Hagmann
    Vice-Chair: Sean Marshall

    Education and Learning
    Chair: Richard Brodie
    Vice-Chair: George Jamieson

    Communities
    Chair: Archie Dryburgh
    Vice-Chair: John Campbell

    Social Work Service
    Chair: Andy Ferguson
    Vice-Chair: Ian Howie

    Finance, Procurement and Transformation

    Chair: Carolyne Wilson
    Vice-chair: Dougie Campbell

    Audit, Risk and Scrutiny
    Chair: Conservative Group
    Vice-Chair: a/a

    Planning Applications
    Chair: Jim Dempster
    Vice-Chair: Emma Jordan

    Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee
    Chair: Archie Dryburgh
    Vice-Chair: Richard Brodie

    Nithsdale Area Committee
    Chair: Tracey Little
    Vice-Chair: Davie Stitt

    Stewartry Area Committee

    Chair: Dougie Campbell
    Vice-Chair: Kim Lowe


    Wigtown Area Committee
    Chair: Willie Scobie
    Vice-Chair: Katie Hagmann

  • Find it Clean, Keep it Clean! – Council Facilities staff win national award.

    Wednesday, 18 May 2022 16:40

    Our Council already knew the great achievements of our Facilities Team, but we are very proud to announce that the team was recognised on the national stage by winning the highly acclaimed award of “Outstanding Contribution to Cleaning” at the ASSIST Conference last night. This is a fantastic achievement as this category is open to all the 32 Scottish Local Authorities.

    Our dedicated team of facilities staff who have gone above and beyond to keep our schools, community facilities and workplaces clean and as germ-free as possible both before and during the pandemic. In some cases, our services in schools and key buildings would not have been able to continue as they did if it wasn’t for our amazing staff going above and beyond over the past 30 months. To be recognised at national level just re-affirms the dedication and commitment of our staff, including our janitorial and catering teams who all multi tasked to ensure our cleaning service was always delivered, and our Solutions Centre team who played a key part in many aspects of our success.

    The health and safety of customers, school pupils, staff and our communities are paramount to this Council, and particularly so during the pandemic, and cleanliness continues to be a priority to ensure we keep everyone protected. Flexibility has been important in unprecedented times as the pandemic evolved, and the Team’s ‘Find it clean, keep it clean’ model proved to be forward thinking and efficient in difficult times.

    The project was developed with a view to providing a customer focussed cleaning service. By remodelling cleaning processes and developing a joined-up approach between Cleaners and Facilities Assistants in schools and mobile teams, we created a multi-skilled and highly visible workforce able to respond to COVID cleaning requests, which varied greatly and according to need and COVID restrictions. Promotion of the ‘Find it clean, keep it clean’ motto is ensuring other staff are aware of their contribution to this new approach and support the Team ethos, recognised at the national awards.

    Lorna Meahan, Director Economy and Resources, said: “This national award is thoroughly well deserved and overdue recognition of a truly fantastic team. The Council has always understood and supported the contribution of the Facilities Team and their efforts in keeping us all safe during the pandemic, working in our schools and essential buildings. It is wonderful to see their achievements recognised at a national level. Congratulations.”

  • Summer Programme Fund 2022

    Tuesday, 10 May 2022 14:51

    Dumfries and Galloway Council is delighted to announce that £135,000 of funding will be available for local Third Sector Organisations and Childcare Providers in Dumfries and Galloway to give Children and Young people a Summer to remember! Following on from the successes of the Amazing Summer fund in 2021, we are once again seeking local organisations who will deliver free activities for children and young people aged 5-14 for the duration of the Summer Holidays, allowing them opportunities to socialise and meet with and make new friends across our region.

    There will be a particular focus on providing support and activities for children and young people who may otherwise struggle to access such experiences during the holidays, encouraging them to play and reconnect with their local communities and environments. We are looking to see a range of different activities and experiences for young people of all ages from communities across Dumfries and Galloway.

    We recognise the ongoing impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our young people in their day-to-day lives, and this exciting programme of Summer opportunities will help them to broaden their horizons, and to build confidence whilst having fun with their friends. This programme of activities is being co-produced with local children and young people to ensure that they get the activities that they enjoy, and young people will also be key part of the decision-making panel.

    Organisations from across Dumfries and Galloway can apply for this funding. We are offering funding to provide free activities throughout the whole summer holidays from the period of Saturday 2nd July until Sunday 21st August 2022.

    A Council Spokesperson said of the fund: “This funding opportunity for our Third Sector Partners and Childcare providers continues our commitment as a local authority to ensuring all of our children and young people have the best start in life, with opportunity to access play and social activities which are vital to their physical and mental wellbeing. We are pleased to be working in partnership with all of our third sector partners and local businesses as well as our local children and young people. This funding is available for all third sector groups and childcare providers and we want to support as many groups as possible to help make this a truly amazing summer holiday for our local children and young people.”

    Elli Wadsworth, Chairperson of Dumfries & Galloway Youth Council said: “The Youth Council is really pleased to be working alongside the Council to deliver an amazing Summer programme of activities for young people. We are involved in setting the priorities for the funding and ensure that the funding goes to opportunities that will make the most difference to young people the length and breadth of Dumfries and Galloway, and also those that young people will have a lot of fun attending.”

    Applications are open now and the closing date for submission of organisations completed applications is 12 noon on Monday 23rdMay.

    Application forms and Guidance Notes can be downloaded from 9am on Monday 9th May by visiting www.dumgal.gov.uk/grants

    If you have any questions on this application process or would like any advice and guidance, please e-mail us at AmazingSummer@dumgal.gov.ukor call 01387 260 243.

  • Youth Beatz - Volunteers wanted!

    Friday, 29 April 2022 12:47

    Youth Beatz Festival is back! This event for young people in Dumfries & Galloway will return to Park Farm Showfield in Dumfries on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June.

    The success of the festival, now in its 12th year, is a credit to those who have volunteered tens of thousands of hours in the planning and delivery of Scotland’s largest free event for young people over the previous years

    We have lots of exciting volunteering opportunities this year that can be tailored to fit your skills and talents. From drama performance and production, photography and videography, set design, media and promotion, to event infrastructure or community engagement – there’s something for everyone.

    If you are interested in volunteering, whether it’s to give back to your local community, get involved in a truly unique event, or gain experience or expertise in your industry of choice, you have until May 21st to express your interest in volunteering at Youth Beatz 2022.

    A spokesperson from Dumfries and Galloways Council said “Youth Beatz is an excellent opportunity for young people and adults to get involved in a large scale event, with opportunities for those interested in events management, through to those who want to work with young people – there’s unlimited opportunities if you have some time to spare. We’re also delighted to be welcoming back volunteers from across Scotland who will be participating in their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award gold level residential through the festival”.

    To express your interest in volunteering at Youth Beatz Festival, including The Toon, an immersive youth drama production, head over to http://youthbeatz.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer/ and complete the volunteer questionnaire.

    If you would like more information, please contact us on youthbeatz.info@dumgal.gov.uk or call 01387 260243.

  • Dumfries and Galloway Council appoints new Chief Executive

    Wednesday, 06 April 2022 15:40

    Following an extensive recruitment process, Dumfries and Galloway Council has appointed Dawn Roberts as its new Chief Executive.

    Dawn Roberts has extensive local government leadership experience having worked in local government for over 25 years. She is joining Dumfries and Galloway from Cumbria County Council where she is currently Executive Director for Corporate, Customer and Community Services and has also been fulfilling additional responsibilities as acting Deputy Chief Executive in recent months.

    Dawn Roberts commenting on her appointment said: "I am delighted to have been offered this fantastic opportunity and am really looking forward to working with members, staff and all stakeholders in my new role. I am really proud of all that has been achieved in Cumbria during my time at the County Council and I look forward to building on this experience as Dumfries and Galloway's new Chief Executive. Dumfries and Galloway Council has a really strong track record in delivering services to the people of the region and this was recognised through the recent CoSLA award for its work to strengthen community resilience through the pandemic.

    This is clearly an ambitious council for Dumfries and Galloway as a place and for the people it serves and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead."

    Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray and Depute Leader, Rob Davidson said: "On behalf of Elected members and staff we are pleased at the appointment of Dawn Roberts to take over as Chief Executive of our Council. We believe the authority will be in safe and experienced hands and we were fortunate to find an excellent candidate for the post. We are delighted that Dawn will be joining Dumfries and Galloway Council. We wish her good luck for the future."

    Our Interim Chief Executive and the Council's Corporate Management team will work with Dawn to ensure a seamless transition. The new Chief will take up her post in July 2022.

  • New Exhibition at Gracefield

    Wednesday, 06 April 2022 11:43

    Saturday the 2 April saw the opening day of Threads of Hope at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.

    It’s the hotly anticipated textiles exhibition presented every three years by guild members of the Dumfries and Galloway Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers, Solway Quilters and Textile & Embroidery Dumfries. This display has been delayed a year due to the lockdown.

    A ‘must see’ for anyone interested in traditional and contemporary crafts, each group has a flourishing membership and meets at Gracefield and other venues in the region to enjoy practical days, lectures, talks and knowledge-sharing. Alongside the wide selection of textile work on display, group members will be available throughout the exhibition to give demonstrations or explain about the traditional and cutting-edge techniques used. Over 100 makers have contributed their work for display and sale from across the region

    Hand-made crafts are appealing to a wide audience these days – TV programmes like BBC’s Sewing Bee demonstrate that everyone can have a go and skills such as embroidery and knitting and quilting appealing to all age-groups now. A spokesperson from the gallery says, “the enthusiasm from all the Guild members is infectious and inspiring and this year they have hands-on activities and quizzes for kids so it really is fun for all the family.”

    The groups have sadly lost some very key members since the last exhibitions. Shirley McKeand founder member of the Embroiderers group, a fabulously gifted needlewoman, was especially fond of Goldwork and her skill in this technique can be seen in the exhibition with a dedicated room 5 display. Born in Yorkshire in 1935, Shirley became a trained tailoress and worked for House of Worth. She was a passionate advocate for needlework and excelled at teaching and enthusing others. Shirley died in 2020 and is greatly missed.

    Solway Quilters exhibition is the work of 23 individual members including quilts, wall-hangings, bags and cushions made as a result of the challenges they built into the syllabus throughout the year in order to gain experience, learn new techniques and move out of the comfort zone! - often producing new and original pieces. They include 3 pieces of work as a tribute to 3 of their members who have sadly died since the last exhibition in 2018. Norma’s Quilt is made with friendship blocks by members and the final quilt was gifted to Norma when she moved into a care home in 2021. It depicts all things dear to Norma - her home and garden, cats, flowers and embroidery all in bright colours. Norma died in February this year - she was one of the founding members of Solway Quilters. For Morag and Callum all the blocks in this quilt were made by Maureen Christie for her granddaughter’s wedding present. Maureen died before she completed the quilt and members have put the blocks together and finished the quilt. Textured Calico is the work of Elma Cliff who sadly died in 2021 and this exquisite wall-hanging epitomises her talent and eye for detail.

    The Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers showcase the work of over 40 members where alongside the visual impact, there is a wonderful smell from natural wools and dyes used in their weaving, knitting and felt work.

    You can find out about the groups and their activities on their webpage or Facebook pages. Gracefield runs workshops for kids from age 18mths to teens including textiles, printmaking, painting and jewellery on Saturdays in term time and Wednesdays during the holidays. Visit the website www.dgculture.co.uk see us on Facebook or just give us a ring on 01387 262084. This Easter weekend there will be the annual Easter Hunt quiz trail running from Thursday 14 to Sat 16 April – a free fun activity for all ages with a Cadbury crème egg prize for everyone who has a go.

    Admission to Gracefield is free and there is ample free parking, with extra on Edinburgh Road when it gets busy! If you are coming with a large group it’s worth pre-booking with café Refresh in advance – just ring our usual number. The Textiles exhibition continues until Saturday 7 May.