On Tuesday 16th October, 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.
We would like to say a really big thank you to everyone who came along on Tuesday – what an amazing show of public support! It was brilliant to engage and connect with so many people who are passionate about bringing positive change to Dumfries.
The AGM was delivered by the Midsteeple Quarter’s new Chair of the Board, Scott Mackay. In his Chair Report, he discussed the progress made in the last year, and highlighted the research and consultations which the project was built on. He explained that the majority of responses and feedback highlighted the need to bring back more people to live in the town centre, with the aim of creating more life during the evenings, and making greater demand for services and shops to bring a greater variety and richness to the place.
The first year of Midsteeple Quarter has seen a lot of activity and progress made on our vision for bringing the High Street back to life. This includes:
– Launch of the website in January;
– Ongoing community consultation/engagement events such as Forgotten Doors, an event celebrating long lost landmarks in Dumfries;
– Various projects to raise the profile of the project including Chapter 1, Close Encounters and Dumfries High Street Façade Project – semi-permanent changes to the façade of the Bakers Oven building as part of the D-Lux Festival of Light project. This project aimed to demonstrate to local people that town centre regeneration is underway and to create new interest, activity and animation in the town centre;
– The public launch of the community benefit society for the Midsteeple Quarter Project on 7th April. This was also the first outing from the Doon Toon Army. Members of the public were invited to sign up to be part of benefit society, with 150 people signing up on the day. Membership continues to grow today;
– Doon Toon Army Meet ‘n’ Clean events – a way of practical improvement and profile raising to show we care about the high street;
– Architectural Competition with the Glasgow Institute of Architects in May/June;
– The Bakers Oven – The Midsteeple Quarter Project are now effectively managing the space on behalf of the Council and are working towards asset transfer from the Council to Midsteeple Quarter. This is going to a Council committee in November and hopefully to ownership in early 2019. Currently the space is facilitating the use by community groups, testing the market for possible future uses for the ground floor space.
Going forward this next year, the Midsteeple Quarter are looking in detail at various more significant funding options including RCGF Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for which we are part of the Dumfries and Galloway bid, Scottish Land Fund, plus Scottish Government Housing Grants for the housing elements, some form of social investment loan and partnership with the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency – fits with their regeneration strategy, community led, town centre regeneration, place based approach to business growth.
To read the full Chair’s Report, please click here: Annual Report_16OCT2018
To read the AGM minutes, please click here: AGM minutes – 16OCT18
To read the Midsteeple Quarter Financial Report, please click here: MSQ Financial Statement