The Guild (Dumfries) CIC are thrilled to announce a successful funding application from Dumfries & Galloway Council's Town Centre Capital Fund (TCCF). The award allows The Guild to commission Creetown Initiative, to conduct a feasibility study into the possible community asset transfer of the former British Linen Bank in Dumfries town centre.
The aim of the TCCF is to help stimulate economic growth and encourage diversity to help town centre’s flourish by increasing footfall. The money can also be used to re-purpose buildings for housing, retail, business, social and community enterprise, services, leisure and culture, tourism and heritage and improving access and infrastructure which is part of Council’s Town Centre Action Plan.
The Guild Director Leah Halliday states, “Our ambitious plans are to develop a community space that could potentially offer multiple, affordable rental concessions in our retail area, have both studio and workshop space, offices and meeting rooms, a venue for exhibitions and events plus a community kitchen. These will be available to rent to our community of makers, a variety of local groups, businesses and organisations, offering a central place where people can meet, work, create and collaborate, with a strong ethos of encouraging participation and social inclusion.”
Kirsten Scott, Director adds, “Now more than ever before we must create opportunities for businesses within the Dumfries and Galloway area and make concerted efforts to regenerate Dumfries town centre. The Linen Bank building could offers an ideal focus for enterprise, entrepreneurship and community wellbeing, as well as guaranteeing the future of this iconic building”.
“ This major project will see new facilities open to makers, producers and artists from across the region, a place to work from and a place to exhibit or sell from. Creetown Initiatives remit is to investigate the feasibility of the project, whilst working with architects on design options and other building related matters.”
- Andrew Ward | Lead Officer and Senior Project Manager.
Creetown Initiative are delighted to be given the chance to work with the Guild Dumfries on their plans to possibly move into the former British Linen Bank, Queensbury Street, Dumfries. As another step forward in the regeneration of Dumfries Town Centre it is hoped to complete the feasibility study by end of August 2020, which is obviously dependant on whether more restrictions are lifted due to coronavirus. During that time it is hoped that the asset transfer process moves forward making it possible for The Guild to find a permanent home. As well as looking at the feasibility of the project, Creetown Initiative will identify funds to support any upgrade work that is identified.
Creetown Initiative are a social enterprise with an outstanding track record in supporting regeneration projects in Dumfries and Galloway. Past successes include securing the funding for the Theatre Royal Dumfries (£1.4m) Johnston School Kirkcudbright (£2.6m) and Barholm Enterprise Centre Creetown (£860k). Creetown Initiative also secured and provided management support for the first Stranraer Oyster Festival, the first Kirkcudbright Festival of Light and have supported the production of Community Action Plans across the region for several communities. Creetown Initiative is currently supporting communities in Dalbeattie, Sanquhar, Dumfries, Barr, Ballantrae, Pinwherry, Kirkcolm, Castle Douglas, Moffat, Kirkcudbright, Haugh of Urr, Newton Stewart, Annan, Mossburn and East Dumfriesshire.
PHOTO CREDIT | LEAH HALLIDAY
Director Natalie Farrell states, “Over the last 2 years during the projects, makers markets and festivals we have organised so far, The Guild have worked with over 100 makers, producers and collaborated with countless other organisations, charities and community groups.
We have embarked on a series of community engagement events aimed at tailoring our plans to the communities needs and requirements. Our hugely successful Pop Up Shop in the Loreburne Centre in August last year, saw up to 1000 visitors per day over a two-week period. This was one such exercise which gave us a superb opportunity to gauge public opinion, gain feedback, collect evidence to endorse our plans and test that the business model would be sustainable. We want to continue to nurture and grow the partnerships we have already made at our previous events and share the idea of our community space to the people of Dumfries”.
We have created an online and paper survey as part of the Feasibility Study, that is currently being carried out by social enterprise and independent consultants, Creetown Initiative, with architectural investigative work executed by ARPL Architects. In order for us to obtain a clearer understanding of how the building might be used, how we can best meet the needs of users and to establish the projects viability.
We would really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete the survey as its an important part of the Feasibility Study. Your answers will greatly help us to ascertain the types of facilities, events and services required by makers, producers, other businesses and organisations, ensuring that we create a business model that will directly meet the needs of makers, producers,creatives and the community as a whole. I will also allow us to discover whether The Linen Bank building is suitable and a viable and sustainable option for a permanent venue.
We would be very grateful if you could please respond by Monday 3rd August at midnight.
There will also be further opportunities for the community to discuss the initial plans and uses for the The Linen Bank and to share your thoughts and ideas with the directors and our volunteers from The Guild at a live event in Queensberry Square on Saturday 8th August between 11am - 2pm. Members of the public are invited to safely attend the open air event and find out more. SIGN UP to our mailing list and follow us on social media to find out more, so you can join the conversation about this exciting next stage. If you are interested in finding out more about this project please do get in touch we would love to hear from you if you are interested in the feasibility study, collaborating and working in partnership.
PHOTO CREDIT | LEAH HALLIDAY
THE GUILD (DUMFRIES) C.I.C
Registered in Scotland as a Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee | Company Number No | SC595249
Registered office | Solway House, Crichton Business Park, Bankend Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA