The mission of The Guild is to create a central place where people can meet, work, create and collaborate, managed for the benefit of the community rather than for an owner or shareholders, where profits are re-invested into developing the types of facilities, projects, events, activities and opportunities our community and town needs.
Our organisation has two cohesive structures. The first, a monthly street market festival, DUMFRIES MARKET FESTIVAL. This will be a destination event, a unique and interesting experience to promote a sense of community pride and social interaction. Secondly, we want to reclaim a property within the heart of Dumfries Town Centre, breathing new life into a building to create The Guild, the name for not only our organisation but also our permanent space. A true community asset within Dumfries.
Our ambitious plans are to develop a community space that will offer multiple, affordable rentable concessions in our shop, have both studio and workshop space, meeting rooms, a venue for exhibitions, events, performance and live music plus a community kitchen. These will be available to rent to our community of makers, a variety of local groups, businesses and organisations. They will benefit from the opportunities to collaborate and develop a peer support network sharing good practice and a forum for discussion of matters concerning them.
Our retail space is designed to help fledgling businesses, artisan makers, designers and producers retail their products in a town centre shop, with minimal overheads, to establish themselves in this space under beneficial terms, giving them space to develop their enterprises and grow. Our website and social media channels will ensure a highly visible online presence promoting featured makers and producers who rent concession space within The Guild and trade at our market.
Our website will soon offer a curated online shop offering products by the community of makers, trading at the collective space and the street market on a commission basis. This will give businesses an opportunity to sell their products to a global audience while promoting the region. There will be profiles, contact details and links providing a platform to drive potential customers to their businesses. You will also find information about exhibitions, events and workshops, with the facility to confirm a booking and hire the facilities within our community space online too.
A programme of creative workshops, accessible to all will also be available. There will be a dedicated workshop space at our community space but we will also use our studio at Solway House in the coming months to host there too. We will be encouraging our community to learn a new skill from expert guest tutors and in-house creatives. We will nurture entrepreneurs, both young and old, and new fledgling businesses as part of our Dumfries Market Festival project, providing business training, mentoring, apprenticeships, internships and networking opportunities. We plan to develop some of the space within the building as an area with hot-desk facilities, co working, meeting room hire and open access to internet offering a flexible, agile working environment.
The Guild will also have a community kitchen where we can provide an opportunity to combine both food and philanthropy, to make a difference, not just feed people. We all need to eat and we hope that the kitchen and our food will be one way of drawing people into our community space to feel the atmosphere, then discover our projects and makers, do a workshop or take part in an event. The Kitchen will promote and sell quality locally sourced, seasonal, ethical and fair-trade food and drink. It will raise awareness of sustainability and food waste issues. A place for social interaction and conversations made around the table, while enjoying delicious food. When done well and in good company, food has an infinite capacity to make everyone feel better. It will also provide catering facilities for events and workshops we host, be used as a teaching space to promote healthy eating, cookery skills and meal planning on a budget. It will also allow young entrepeneurs and fledging businesses with an opportunity to host pop up restuarants and encourage enterprise.
We will create a social space, with a sense of common purpose and a creative, inviting and welcoming atmosphere where the community can meet. Providing a place for human and social interaction, the feeling of belonging and being part of something special to be proud of. We want to be able to provide a safe environment for groups which promote social inclusion, benefit both mental health and wellbeing, dementia and autism friendly, encourage skill share, recycling and foster environmentally friendly practices and sustainability i.e. zero plastic waste, refillable water etc.
We fully understand that this is a huge undertaking but its a very exciting project for Dumfries, we believe passionately about our visions and plans.
But the current TEAM of three can't do it alone. We will be looking for applicants to join our board of Directors in the future and offer both full and part time jobs opportunities as we grow and develop. There are lots of ways people can get involved in the weeks and months ahead. You can follow us on Social Media, sign up to our MAILING LIST, become a FRIEND OF THE GUILD, APPLY to one of our Market Festivals and a maker or performer, VOLUNTEER, DONATE, collaborate, offer sponsorship and in kind sponsorship or work with us on partnership projects.
Would you love to get involved, have an idea, want to ask a question, collaborate or just want to say hello?
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