Midsteeple Quarter Board

Scott Mackay (Chair of the Board)

Scott Mackay, born in Glasgow, now lives near Dumfries.  He is a Chartered Town Planner and runs an independent planning and development consultancy advising national retail, housing and commercial developers and pension funds on planning issues and promoting development across the UK.  He seeks to balance his work and put those skills to good use with a variety of voluntary roles, having previously chaired a community council and been on the board of community groups in both Glasgow and Dumfries, including the redevelopment of Queens Park bandstand in Glasgow for community use, The Strathbungo Society and Upland, D&G’s local visual art and craft development organisation.

Scott is passionate about finding new ways for communities to facilitate positive change in our urban environment where the commercial property system is failing to work for the benefit of local people, through redevelopment, reuse and community ownership.

 

Evie Copland


Evie Copland is an award-winning housing professional and proud lifelong Doonhamer, living and working in Dumfries town centre. She trained as a journalist but found her true passion working in housing and currently works for a local social housing provider. She’s an experienced project manager, a former communications officer with marketing and strategic communications experience and a highly-respected member of the Chartered Institute of Housing in both Scotland and the rest of the UK. A genuine lover of housing and creating great places to live, Evie has dedicated much of her spare time to working with Midsteeple Quarter using her professional experience to support the progress of the project.

Most recently, Evie has been involved in recruitment of both new board members and staff, welcoming MSPs and Scottish Government civil servants to Dumfries to visit the project and offering an operational insight to the world of owning and managing affordable housing. Evie has appeared on both local and national television on behalf of the project, featuring on BBC Breakfast during the summer. Above all else, she is a team player and isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in!

 

Alison Macleod

Alison Macleod recently returned to Dumfries, her home town, after 35 years in Applecross, Wester Ross. She moved there with her husband, who she met while studying history in Edinburgh. They lived in his family croft house and picked whelks for a living, before buying a creel fishing boat which they worked together until the first of four sons arrived. Once the boys were in school, she worked on an MOD site where the UK submarine fleet visited for noise ranging trials (not a suitable job for a member of CND, but job opportunities in such a remote area are very limited).

Later work included being project officer for Raasay House Community Company, supporting an island-based development trust to take over ownership of an 18th century laird’s mansion. This encouraged her to take the lead in forming a development trust in Applecross. She worked for 7 years as development officer in Applecross managing a number of projects, including the build of a community owned hydro scheme as an income generator for the area.

She is a director of Scottish Rural Action, which aims to provide a powerful voice for the people of rural Scotland.

 

Hilary L. Grieve

Hilary was born in 1950 and brought up in Edinburgh and Orkney. She was educated in Edinburgh and St Andrews, reading Law at Edinburgh University before serving her apprenticeship and thereafter working as a solicitor in Glasgow. In 1974 she married Charles Grieve, a Chartered Surveyor, and moved with him to Dumfriesshire so that he could take up a position with his family firm of C.G. Grieve & Co. After working part-time in Castle Douglas and Annan, she joined the firm of Whitelaw Edgar & Baldwin in 1979 and remained there until 1993 where she set up her own firm of Hilary Grieve, now Grieve Grierson Moodie & Walker, from which she retired in 2017.

Apart from her professional commitments she has been involved in political, charitable and public bodies and services, including the National Health Service (as Chairman of the Acute & Maternity Trust), The Crichton Trust and the Crichton Foundation.

 

Mike Comerford

Mike is a Chartered Engineer (a designer of ships, boats and other things marine) and a professional Yachtmaster. Mike has worked with UK and Scottish Ministers in policy development in support of shipping, oil and gas, offshore renewables and aquaculture.

He has actively supported homelessness, affordable housing and sustainable development work. He was a volunteer director of a marine sustainable development partnership which developed the management plans for the largest marine special area of conservation in Europe (for bottlenose dolphins) and the first ecosystem-led approach to the integrated management of an inshore fisheries area in the UK. The Partnership also created a unique collection of fishermen’s jersey (Gansey) patterns and supported the restoration and use of local traditional boats.

Mike is a creative person (musician, photographer, aspiring poet and painter) and a strong supporter of the vision of putting creativity and cultural heritage at the heart of restoring and sustaining communities.

 

Jordan Chisholm

Jordan is a freelance creative practitioner, currently working with Blueprint100 – an emerging artists platform which aims to create arts opportunities for people under 30 years of age from Dumfries and Galloway. Originally from Edinburgh, she moved to Dumfries in 2012 and has called it home since then.

Jordan explains “My experience as a board member so far has been invaluable to both my professional and personal development. As a young person in Dumfries, I did not think it was possible to have a say in the major future planning of our High Street but the Midsteeple Quarter has made this happen for me. My voice has actively been heard and respected and this role has enabled me to be a part of the important decision making which has taken place over the last few months.

“In a world where resolutions are predominately made by older white men, I bring to this board the perspective of a young female professional trying to make life better for both myself and the people of Dumfries. I want Dumfries to be a place we are proud to call home and I know that being on this board allows both my own opinions and those of many other young people from the town perceived and understood; this plays a vital part in making this project a success.”

 

Michael Moore

Born and raised in Dumfries, Michael Moore began volunteering and then working for The Stove Network, going on to help create their creative youth project, Blueprint100. During his time within The Stove Network he became highly interested in what his fellow Doonhamers made of the public art projects ran by many different art organisations and their beliefs of what would improve the wider community.

“One of the most frequent things I’ve heard said is that ‘nothing ever happens here’ and that ‘the town centre is dead’. It’s not as bad as that, but it could be. Part of the problem is that people can feel powerless to change their environment; and when they are up against absentee landlords/organisations that don’t even know the property they are responsible for I’m not surprised. I believe that Dumfries can choose to reclaim its power and restore its buildings to the local community by working together to redesign and co-create a better Dumfries for all of us.”