The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


Local Business Looking for Crowdfunding Support

Traditionally, financing a business, project or venture involved asking a few people for large sums of money. Crowdfunding switches this idea around, using the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money.

You may have seen a lot of coverage in the local media about the proposed Laser Tag arena – ‘Urban Guerrilla’.

Local business woman Nina Parkin is behind the idea having recently secured the former Thistle Galleries building within the centre of Dumfries.

Nina is now turning to crowdfunding in order to raise the funds to make the project happen.

“As a parent of two at 7 & 10, I've experienced first hand that currently Dumfries has a lot of play areas and entertainment for toddlers and young children however, there is very little for children over this age in the town.  Because of this, young people are forced to travel out with the region as far as Carlisle, Ayr and Glasgow to enjoy a day out. We want our young community, as well as visitors to the region, to have somewhere that they can enjoy and have fun within Dumfries. After two years of research and planning we have developed a proposal to create an entertainment centre that children and adults alike can come and enjoy on a regular basis without the time and expense of travelling out with Dumfries. To make this vision become a reality, we need your support.”

Supporters can pledge anything from £10 to £10,000.

“Hopefully local businesses will be able to help support the business, we need to raise £59,000 to make this real but we have some great opportunities for businesses to get involved. Everything from advertising in the arena to team days and so much more.

We are really hopeful of achieving our goal, but if we don’t we will not take any money from our pledgers.  We are an all or nothing campaign, meaning if we don’t reach our target its back to the drawing board for us.”



Local Business Seeks Crowdfunding Support

Exciting plans have been revealed for the development of an indoor entertainment and leisure facility in the centre of Dumfries. The proposed development on Irish Street features the first indoor laser tag facility in the region along with a games arcade and sensory play room.

A Crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help raise the final amount required to open the tactical laser tag centre in the old Thistle Galleries on Irish Street. Nina Parkin, the driving force behind the development said, “There is often talk of new developments that never come to fruition, by crowdfunding we are giving the people and businesses of Dumfries & Galloway the power to make it become a reality.”

The plan will see the 5,000sqft building transformed into a state-of-the-art laser tag centre, creating around 5 new jobs. The centre will also include a specially designed sensory play room and other indoor entertainment facilities. If the Crowdfunding target is reached work on the centre could start as early as September and would see the grand opening in winter 2017.

“Our vision is to create a much needed entertainment centre in the region, a facility everyone can enjoy regardless of age or the weather. The centre will also be available to book exclusively for parties and team building events.

We want to do something positive for the town; there isn’t a lot in the area for children and young people, which leads to them traveling to Carlisle or Glasgow at time and expense. We hope the local community will show their support and help reach the crowdfunding amount required to enable us to open the centre” Said Nina Parkin.

Scottish households overspending by £132m on Broadband

New study results, supported by former TV Dragon and consumer champion , are set to pile more misery on British households when they reveals that almost three quarters of them (72%) are paying far more than they need to for broadband as a result of 'out-of-contract' rates.

In Scotland 65% of households are paying more than they should as they are on 'out-of-contract' rates. 

In fact, the research calculates that on average 15 million British households are paying £113 a year more than necessary.  That’s a staggering £1.7bn a year of combined overspend across the country.

The study, by First Utility Broadband, points the finger squarely at broadband companies for not alerting their customers to these ‘out of contract’ price increases. Only 10%of broadband users say they had been contacted by their broadband provider to alert them to the end of their initial contract period and inform them the prices were going up.  Once an initial contract terms ends, most major providers hike up their price by an average of 37%(or £113 a year).

All of which has seriously concerned Sarah Willingham, founder of the website, and has prompted her to join calls for all providers to be mandated to tell customers when their contract comes to an end, just as energy suppliers are required to do.

Sarah comments: “It’s appalling that millions of British families are being ripped off by their broadband supplier. We have already learnt that loyalty doesn’t pay in energy and it’s shocking to see the same thing happening in broadband.


“The big providers have been let off easily for far too long. Reminding customers that their contract is coming to an end shouldn’t be too much effort for providers and can help many people save hundreds of pounds.


“I strongly support First Utility’s decision for no out of contract price hike.  Its determination to help customers cut overspending on broadband is something I hope Ofcom will take into account in its consultation to make the telecoms sector fairer for customers.

Energy providers are legally required to alert customers 49 days before the end of a contract but no such regulation exists for broadband. Ofcom is currently consulting on this in order to encourage consumer engagement and help customers avoid paying out of contract charges.   


The Lockerbie Action Plan Steering Committee met this week to discuss how to move forward with the recently published Action Plan. The company Nick Wright Planning had been commissioned and has recently completed the Report.

The Steering Committee welcomed the Plan and are now eager that it becomes a reality. To begin with the Committee are prioritising two projects – improving McJerrow Park and upgrading the two roundabouts at the entrances to the town along the B7076 road.

However, the Steering Committee is also putting a call out for volunteers to help take this work forward. Anybody who would like to get involved with the Committee or lend their expertise would be most welcome. As this is Lockerbie's Community Action Plan the Committee would also like to get all local groups involved.

Speaking at the meeting, member Ian McLatchie commented, "This Plan will hopefully help us to improve Lockerbie. The Steering Group is eager to improve the town in any way possible for the people that live here."

Jan Andrews, who also Chairs Lockerbie Community Council said, "This is great piece of work that has been done and we would like to thank all those residents who have taken part in the consultations that made the Action Plan possible. The Action Plan lists what the people of Lockerbie would like to see done to improve our town and we would welcome any member of the community who would like to help us take this Plan forward."

Speaking after the meeting Local Councillor Adam Wilson commented, "Residents in Lockerbie have clearly stated what they would like to see done to improve our local area. I look forward to working with both the Community Council and the Steering Committee in taking these actions forward."


Time: 10.00 to 13.00

Venue: Crown Hotel, 102 Queens Street, Newton Stewart, DG8 6JW

Cost: Free

User experience and good content are key to customers finding you online. In this workshop learn how to write really engaging content, see what users are looking for and give them a reason to come to your site and to keep coming back. This is one of the key measures that search engines such as Google use to rank you.