Great interest in the Galloway Glens Scheme

The Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme is a Heritage Lottery Funded project taking place up and down the Ken and Dee river catchment, from Carsphairn in the North to Kirkcudbright in the South. £2.7million has been provisionally secured from HLF to be spent on projects across the area that ‘connect people to their cultural, built and natural heritage’.

Projects supported through the scheme will either result from a series of studies being commissioned or from project ideas submitted at this early stage. The deadline for submitting project ideas has now passed, with 84 project suggestions being received by the team. These vary from very small suggestions that would improve a short section of footpath, to much larger projects looking to purchase land or buildings for the community.

Over the next year, the Galloway Glens Partnership Board will be looking to refine the projects that will form part of the scheme and the hard work starts now, as each project proposal will be considered by the Board, assessing the benefits that will result from each proposal and how that fits into the landscape scale of the project.

Galloway Glens Development Officer, McNabb Laurie, was thrilled by the level of interest in the scheme, “In the early stages of a project like this, it can be hard to get your head around what is involved in a Landscape Partnership scheme and so I am so glad that communities up and down the project area have heard our call and thrown their ideas forward for consideration by the Partnership Board. The Galloway Glens Scheme is a genuine partnership and all input is welcomed.”

McNabb added, “The hard task is going to be to try to whittle the list of project ideas down, using the Heritage Lottery Fund’s 9 criteria and then pull these together into a coherent plan that makes a difference up and down the region. Anyone interested in progress should sign up for the newsletter or follow us on facebook and twitter”.

The Galloway Glens Scheme is being considered at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure (EEI) Committee next week (13 September). The Galloway Glens Scheme aligns with the Council’s strategic plan for area regeneration. The Council’s role in the Galloway Glens Scheme is as a partner organisation and also the schemes ‘accountable body’ acting as formal recipient of the Heritage Lottery Funding.

Chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Colin Smyth, added “The need for initiatives like the Galloway Glens Scheme is evidenced by the interest that has been generated. This is not only about the conservation of the area, but to encourage local people to engage with their own environment. It’s about regenerating the local economy and providing training in much needed rural heritage skills. The Council is proud to be a partner in the Scheme and I look forward to seeing the list of projects develop.”

Members will be asked at EEI Committee to agree to support the proposed partnership agreement and note the background and planned development stage of the scheme, which will culminate in the submission of the stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, scheduled for summer 2017. Members will also be asked to appoint an Elected Member to sit on the Galloway Glens Scheme Partnership board.

The last Galloway Glens Scheme Summer Event is being held in the Gordon Memorial Hall in Castle Douglas next Sunday night (18th September) at 7pm. Local history enthusiast, Andrew Nicholson will be giving a talk entitled ‘Archaeology of the Ken Valley’. Attendance is free but numbers are limited – please email mcnabb.laurie@dumgal.gov.uk if you would like to reserve a place! Tea and coffee is provided.

Photo: Glenlochar barrage