Council proposals for investment in our local community projects.

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 11:59

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy and Resources Committee (E&R) will be asked to agree to award Carsphairn Community Woodland Trust a capital grant of £131,960 from the Place Based Investment Programme 2023/24, to enable construction of the Carsphairn Community Woodland Rural Skills Training Centre. Carsphairn Community Woodland Ltd (CCW) is a charitable company which was registered in 2018 as a specific vehicle for managing the community asset transfer and ongoing management of Muirdrochwood Forest from Forestry and Land Scotland with assistance from the Scottish Land Fund.

CCW’s core mission includes the creation of forestry related employment and training opportunities and to create opportunities for smaller contractors who are better suited to the scale of the community forest that it manages. The construction of the Carsphairn Rural Skills Centre will enable CCW to offer a skills development programme that will provide a pathway for local young people into employment in the forestry sector.

At the meeting of E&R in January 2023, Members agreed to award £9,456 from the Community Led Economic Regeneration Framework to support CCW to bring forward proposals for a further phase of this project. These proposals have now matured in the form of detailed designs and a pre-tender cost plan for the construction of a Rural Skills Training Centre at the site.

Members of the committee will also be asked to agree to provide project development support to the Annan and District Day Centre Business Expansion Project, including a capital grant of up to £47,050, through the Community Led Economic Regeneration Framework, to assist early pipeline project development work.

Annan and District Day Centre (ADDC) is a registered charity nearing completion of its acquisition of the former library site at Charles Street in Annan, currently owned by this Council and approved to be disposed of through the Community Asset Transfer process. The acquisition of the site by ADDC is the first stage of its project to grow its offer of health and wellbeing services for local adults, grow its role as a local social enterprise, and contribute to the regeneration of Annan town centre. This should create 19.5FTE new jobs for the town, as well as developing a wider range of volunteering opportunities that it can offer, reduce health deprivations, promote social cohesion and reduce social isolation.

Councillor Ian Carruthers, Chair of Economy and Resources Committee said: “I am very pleased to hear of the plans from Annan and District Day Centre for the old library site in Annan. This project has the potential to be part of a larger strategic approach to Annan Town Centre that will focus on the repurposing of vacant and underused sites to bring about a more diversified and intensified range of uses for local assets.

It is vital that we work in partnership with communities and businesses and utilise surplus buildings to develop plans for the future revitalisation of our High Streets and neighbourhood centres. This will help to diversify their role as social and economic assets for our region’s towns and neighbourhoods and this is a great project which I hope members will agree to help fund.”

Vice Chair, Councillor David Inglis said: “Our region has a shortage of training provision for rural skills and the forestry industry. A recent assessment identified a requirement for 1,700 workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry in our region between 2026 and 2033, to account for industry growth and replacement of existing staff. Providing Members agree, the CCW investment will assist the local community in Carsphairn to address some of the economic pressures that are causing outward migration of its young people, helping them to live locally and to flourish.”


To read the report in full go to: COMMITTEE REPORT TEMPLATE & GUIDANCE (