The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

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


Dumfries & Galloway EXPO 19 is coming!



If you do business or want to do business in Dumfries & Galloway EXPO 19 is for you.

There will be over 70 B2B exhibitors on hand from the private and public sectors to answer your questions about the services and support available to your business in Dumfries and Galloway.

There is a huge range available from accountants to web designers from banks to energy specialists and tourism to marketing. Any one of them maybe the connection that makes all the difference to your business.

Our masterclasses are as follows

  • 3.30pm Stewart Tait from Studio 105 - What Social media is right for my business?
  • 4.30pm Stewart Tait from Studio 105 - What content should I be sharing? How can I use video on social media?
  • 5pm Michael Nicholson from Botann and Output Communications - Using social media to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.
  • 5.30pm Scottish Development International - Brexit - What are the risks? What actions can I take? What support is available?

The whole day is free and is designed to provide practical help so you can find the support you need to grow or start your business in Dumfries & Galloway

Scotland’s business community set to gather for largest-ever Annual Scottish Business Address

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) will hold its flagship Annual Scottish Business Address event on 12th September 2019 at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, bringing together 460 industry leaders, representing 170 Scottish companies.

This year, the Business Keynote will be delivered by Jonathan Hinkles, Managing Director of Loganair, who will share his experience of transforming Loganair into the UK’s fifth largest airline.

The event will also include, for the first time, an exclusive ‘Conversation with Global Chamber Leaders.’ Hosted by Kaye Adams, the panel will feature Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of SCC; Francis Martin CBE, President of British Chambers of Commerce; and Chris Southworth, Secretary-General of the International Chambers of Commerce (UK). The panel is set to address global business topics including international trade, the cost of doing business and the future of work.

Tim Allen SCC PresidentCommenting ahead of the event, Tim Allan, President of SCC, said:

“This annual event brings together leaders from a wide range of companies and provides an unrivalled forum to connect with business leaders, talk about the economic challenges and opportunities, as well as a chance to celebrate our successes.

“I am delighted that Jonathan will be delivering the Business Keynote at our annual event. Under his leadership, Loganair has flown through significant change to become Scotland’s leading airline with an expanded fleet and more international destinations under his leadership.

“The ‘Conversation with Global Chamber Leaders’ comes at an important time in business. Their insight, expertise and world-view will enable greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Steve Smart, CGI’s Senior Vice President, Scotland, said:

“CGI is delighted to partner with SCC for this year’s Annual Scottish Business Address. The event is an important one in the calendar, providing a great opportunity for leaders to come together and our partnership is a proud demonstration of our ongoing commitment to Scotland’s business community. As one of the largest independent IT and business consulting firms in the world, this year’s event is of particular relevance to us. We look forward to an excellent evening with Scotland’s business community.”

Public Toilets Up For Discussion at Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee will meet on Tuesday 17 September and will receive an update report on the Public Convenience Service Review.

Our Council has 58 public toilets dotted around the region, with the service requiring to save just shy of £100,000 before 31 March 2021. These toilets are vital to communities and visitors and range from big facilities such as Whitesands in Dumfries to remote free-standing buildings in the likes of Monreith in Wigtownshire. The service has already made a £20,000 saving in line with budget requirements but this report will look at ways to make the additional £100k saving in the next 12 to 18 months.

Extensive consultation has been held over the last couple of months, with two dozen community conversations taking place throughout the region, as well as a customer survey, and employee survey and local business meetings all taking place to seek views and options on how the facilities can work more efficiently. Over a thousand people completed our survey, be it customer or staff, and more than 300 members of the public turned out at the community conversations.

Members will be asked to agree at the meeting on 17 September, that a ‘comfort scheme’ is developed, whereby local businesses would allow members of the public to use their premises toilet(s), in return for a small financial incentive. This would allow the running cost of the public convenience to be removed for the Council.

Members will also be asked to consider offering community groups a similar financial incentive to take over the cleaning of public conveniences in their area. Other options that will be considered as part of the report include mobile cleaning of facilities, something that’s already in place in Wigtownshire, as well as the closure of some of the facilities that our consultation has shown are not well used.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Communities Committee Chairman, Cllr Andy Ferguson commented;
“This report highlights the jaw-dropping savings that need to be made in relation to public toilets. Our consultation has shown us how much the community depend on the vast majority of these conveniences, and I am pleased to read in the report that there’s various options for my fellow Members to explore to try to meet these savings. I would like to say thank you to each person who took part in the consultation – without you we could not be furnished with your opinions to aid us make these difficult decisions.”

Vice Chairman Cllr John Martin echoed Andy’s comments;
“Our public conveniences are well used and those who fed back to us via our survey were please with the facilities in terms of cleanliness. This is positive news for our Council. However, the cuts of nearly £100,000 is going to mean difficult decisions. I would urge any business interested in signing up to the comfort scheme or any community willing to take on one of our facilities, to get in touch.”

See report:

Council Say "Infrastructure Investment Vital For Region"

The Council’s Communities committee [17 September 2017] will consider a report on its Infrastructure Capital Programme 2019/20.

The Council agreed its capital budget for 2019/20 to 2021/22 in February 2019, with an indicative 10-year Capital Investment Strategy. The agreed funding allocations for the Infrastructure Asset Class are:
• 2019/20 £10.07m
• 2020/21 ££9.5m
• 2021/22 £9.5m

An additional £0.5m was allocated for planned structural overlays on roads for 2019/20 and 2020/21.

The Infrastructure Capital Programme 2019/20 includes:
• Carriageway surface dressing
• Carriageway resurfacing
• Carriageway strengthening
• Carriageway drainage
• Planned structural overlays [eliminating defects by surfacing short sections of carriageway, up to around 400m]
• Footways
• Forestry routes - this year, the Council was successful in 3 bids to the Strategic Timber Transport Fund resulting in £231,841 being awarded, enabling upgrades to local roads to accommodate increased forestry extraction.
• Car Parks – including Lockerbie Station
• Structures – including Carruthers Bridge [C61a], Langholm Suspension Footbridge, Wauchope Bridge [B7068a], Lamford Culvert [A713s]
• Harbours – seeking European Maritime Fisheries Fund contribution for Port William Harbour and Kirkcudbright Marina
• Coastal Infrastructure – Dyemill coastal protection, Drummore coastal road
• Flood Risk Management – Spoutwells [Stranraer], Carsphairn
• Street Lighting
• Intelligent Transport Systems
• Road Safety Programme
• Speed Limits and Traffic Calming
• Active Travel Programme

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Communities committee, said: “Over the next 3 years our Council is committed to spending more than £30m on projects to improve and maintain the region’s infrastructure, including roads. This expenditure is vital for local people, local communities, and the local economy.”

Councillor John Martin, vice-chair, said: “Improved travel links, roads maintenance, improved road safety, bridge repairs and appropriate parking facilities are key issues for this region if it is to be a place where people want to live, work and carry out business. Our capital programme for infrastructure is an essential contributor to this.”

See report:

Council To Spend £2.074m On Land Assets Across Region

The Council’s Communities committee [17 September 2019] will consider a report on the progress the Council’s Capital Investment Strategy 2019/20.

The agreed funding allocation for land assets is £2.074m, broken down as:
• Burial grounds maintenance/development £359,000
• Parks/gardens/allotments/amenity space £254,000
• Play areas/playing fields £124,000
• Regional Playpark Fund £500,000
• All-inclusive playparks £854,000
• Sports pitches £35,000
• Over-commitment in programme [£52,000]

Projects include:
• Mercat Cross, Wigtown – work starting October 2019
• New Dumfries Cemetery – full site landscaping proposal currently being done – followed by planning application
• Earl of Galloway Monument – listed building consent to be sought in October/November 2019
• Beechgrove Tennis Courts, Moffat – resurfacing of 6 courts and installation of floodlighting completed
• Inclusive Playparks – works at Stair Park, Stranraer; Douglas Park, Newton Stewart; Market Hill, Castle Douglas; Kirkland Drive, Kelloholm; Catherine Street, Dumfries; Weyroc Play Area, Annan; McJerrow Park, Lockerbie

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Communities committee, said: “With £2.074m to spend, the Land Asset investments from our Council’s Capital Investment Strategy deliver a significant impact across our region, improving local assets and wellbeing.”

Councillor John Martin, vice-chair, said: “This funding makes a major positive impact in our region, enabling us to maintain physical assets and deliver significant and much needed new projects.”

See report: