Midsteeple Quarter are celebrating a year of exciting events following the launch of their Community Benefit Society in April 2018! The event was also the first outing for the Doon Toon Army and was a day of fun, music and solidarity which celebrated a new beginning for Dumfries Town Centre.
Over the past year, the project has continued to grow and connect with members our community and beyond, with a large membership and several events planned for the year ahead. Before moving forward, we thought we would share some of our highlights from the past year which have helped to shape the project into what it is now:
The launch of the Community Benefit Society
In April 2018, the Midsteeple Quarter Community Benefit Society officially launched with a day of events and activities on the Plainstanes in Dumfries Town Centre. It was a great launch and an amazing day for the Midsteeple Quarter project, and it was clear that there was a real fighting spirit to change thw High Street, clean it up and make it a more rewarding place for all. Nearly 150 members of the public signed up to the Midsteeple Quarter Community Benefit Society on the launch day. Read more here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/successful-day-for-launch-of-the-midsteeple-quarter-project/
Doon Toon Army takes it to the streets!
The DOON TOON ARMY headed out onto the High Street for their First Meet n Clean in May to clean, scrub, paint and change areas of the town centre. The event marked the beginning for the army to tackle key areas around the High Street, as well as an opportunity to meet new people and share skills and ideas to help reshape the face of Dumfries town centre. Since then they have continued to meet up to help spruce up the High Street and make a difference to the town centre. Reads more here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/doon-toon-army-takes-it-to-the-street/
A Visit from the Cabinet SecretaryIn August 2018, we were delight to welcome Aileen Campbell to Dumfries – Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Local Government. She was joined by Angus Hardie (Scottish Community Alliance), Ian Cook (Director for the Development Trust Association Scotland), Alasdair McKinlay (Head of the Community Planning and Empowerment Unit at Scottish Government) and Gillian Cross (Secretary to Aileen Campbell). Read more about the Cabinet Secreatry’s visit here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/cabinet-secretary-visits-midsteeple-quarter/
Midsteeple Quarter holds their first AGM
In October 2018, we held our first AGM for the Midsteeple Quarter Project at The Oven on Dumfries High Street, which offered members of the community the opportunity to find out more about the progress of the project as well as discuss ideas for the future uses of The Oven and view initial plans. The AGM was hugely successful and a brilliant chance to connect with so many people who were passionate about bringing positive change to Dumfries. You can read more about our first AGM here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/msq-first-agm-success/
The Oven Asset Transfer
In November last year, we were delighted at Dumfries & Galloway Council’s decision to transfer the former Bakers Oven building into community ownership through the Midsteeple Quarter Project. It had been a long journey towards that moment after all the hard work the Midsteeple Quarter put into the project over the last two years, and we were thrilled that the members of the Council saw the potential in our ideas for the building. You can read more about our plans for the future of The Oven here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/the-oven-asset-transfer/
#ReclaimtheHighStreet Crowdfunding Campaign
In January and February of this year, we asked fellow citizens to respond to an emergency request to come together, as a town, and buy two High Street buildings which were to be sold at an auction in London on 5th February. Despite failing in our attempt to buy the buildings, we remained incredibly upbeat due to the fantastic response to our campaign and the positive support we received from the town and further afield.
It truly was unbelievable – we raised over £23,000 in small donations in less than 2 weeks, from members of the public in Dumfries and beyond. It was hugely disappointing that we lost out, but we always knew this was going to be a long haul. We still believe that the essential facts have not changed and we continue to work towards re-imagining our town centre as a place with a missed offer of housing, enterprise space, services and leisure. Read more about our Crowdfunding campaign here: http://www.midsteeplequarter.org/community-fight-back-against-high-street-absentee-landlords-to-continue/
We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in our journey so far. It is amazing to see such a strong network of people who are passionate about bringing positive change to Dumfries, and we’re excited to see what the next year holds for the future of Dumfries Town Centre!