The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

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


Stranraer Development Trust expect to launch “Gateway to Galloway” Visitor Centre in historic waterfront building in April.

Stranraer Development Trust, the non-profit organisation behind the phenomenal success of the Stranraer Oyster Festival and several other community and tourism building initiatives, intend to open the Gateway to Galloway Visitor Centre and Community Hub in the extended and upgraded historic Harbourmaster's Clocktower Complex, in April. 

This coincides with the announcement of the long-awaited Borderlands Deal delivering £345m to spend on boosting the economy of the South of Scotland and North of England.

Romano Petrucci, Stranraer Development Trust Chairman, says “The G2G Hub is an essential part of our powerful new “Gateway to Galloway” tourism strategy. The historic Harbourmaster’s Clocktower complex is ideally placed to attract visitors, with a highly visible harbourfront position and parking, and will be a visitor conduit between the seafront and the town centre.”

Douglas McMillan, a fellow board member and MD of McMillan Hotel group, one of the area’s largest employers, says “There is outstanding potential for tourism development in the whole of the South West. The Stranraer Gateway to Galloway Hub is the centrepiece of our strong new tourism strategy. In partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and other stakeholders we intend to help put the whole region firmly on the tourist map.”

The recent demise of the unprofitable Visit Scotland operated Stranraer Tourist Information Centre has left Stranraer’s visitors with an unlikely two and a half hour road journey to the nearest tourist office in Dumfries.

The recently published report from the Economic Development Department Service of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Strategic Outline Program, Reshaping Stranraer and the West Region, includes a long term strategy, in line with the proposed £40.5 million development of the harbour area, as the “major town and gateway to the South West, Ireland and Europe”.

Stranraer Development Trust hope to hear positive news before the end of March from Dumfries and Galloway council, as they are keen to start using it to promote upcoming events such as the SkiffieWorlds 2019 Championship to be held in the adjoining Loch Ryan in on 7th to 13th July and then our Oyster Festival.

Romano Petrucci adds, “We ask that everyone in the community please support our efforts to acquire and launch the G2G centre because it will bring benefits to the entire Dumfries and Galloway region.”


After almost 25 years on the local air waves, West Sound Breakfast Show presenter, Tommy Jardine, has announced he is to retire.



Tommy, originally a professional auctioneer to trade, having been a co-director with Jardine (Auctioneers) Ltd. started his radio career in 1996 with West Sound on an evening show called “The Back Shift”, broadcasting from Campbell House at the Crichton.

After experiencing all aspects of the radio business including sales and sponsorship, he took on the role of Charity Manager for the station’s charity – Cash for Kids.

From the first event at the Cairndale Hotel in 1999 which raised £6,000 he guided the fundraising total to a massive one million pounds in 2015. He then stood down as Charity Manager and was honoured to be the first Charity Ambassador for the charity in Dumfries & Galloway.

Tommy has always had close links with the community, a former President of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (D&G) and with Guid Nychburris, having been a Lynor and Baillie in Dumfries and Pursuivant for the Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright in 2005.

For the last 10 years, he has been rising at 4:30am each weekday morning to present the peak time breakfast show from 6am to 10am every weekday.

Tommy said: “They say a second is a long time in radio, but the past 20 years have passed so quickly. I have met and worked with some wonderful, talented people and I can now look forward to some long lies and spending more time with my wife Margaret and our two Westies Hamish and Bonnie.”

Graham Bryce, Group MD, Greatest Hits Radio Network said:“I would like to hugely thank Tommy for his incredible contribution to West Sound over the years. From raising huge amounts of money for our charity Cash for Kids to waking up Dumfries and Galloway for the past ten years, his enthusiasm, passion and connection to the community will be sorely missed. However I do know he is looking forward to putting his feet up and having a long lie in. We wish Tommy and his wife Margaret all the very best for their retirement.”

Kenny Campbell, currently presenting the Home Run from 3pm to 7pm on weekdays,  takes over the breakfast show and Michael Smith takes the reins of Kenny’s show. The changes come into place on Monday the 1st of April.


South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has told Parliament that the proposed South of Scotland Enterprise Agency must be rooted in the South.



Speaking the Stage 1 Debate on the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill Colin Smyth called on Parliament to ensure the agency is responsible not just government ministers in Edinburgh but to the communities across the region.

As the Bill to establish the agency continues through Holyrood, Scottish Labour will table amendments to make it a legal requirement for the new agency to consult and report on performance with local people.

Colin Smyth said, “This new agency is much needed and will play a key role in growing the economy of the South of Scotland. However, it is clear the SNP government’s plans will leave this an organisation serving ministers in Edinburgh and not responsible to local people, communities and businesses.

As the Bill progresses I will table a number of amendments including one to make it a legal requirement for the agency to consult and report on performance with local people. This must be an agency rooted in the South and accountable to communities in the South of Scotland.”

Can You Help The Dogs? - Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue Centre are Looking for Board Members.


Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue Centre is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.  The Centre has flourished since it took over the kennels at Dovecotewells, Glencaple in March 2003.  We are now looking to recruit additional members to the board of directors.

We are looking to attract applications from individuals with a background in any of the following areas: - finance, human resources, law, marketing, property, rural issues, fund raising, knowledge about the welfare of dogs, voluntary sector and community planning.

We would like to extend the diversity of our board to promote our future growth and development.  We are seeking individuals who are willing and able to provide hands on support for our work and its future development.

We have recently conducted an extensive consultation exercise with our supporters on the way forward for the charity.  This has resulted in a number of projects aimed at developing the charity over the next 5 years. 

Our strategic objectives for the current year are to:-

  1.       Develop the rescue centre so that it is an example of best practice in animal welfare, specifically this means increasing the preventative and support work that we provide.
  2.       Ensure the policies and procedures of the charity are sufficiently robust to ensure long term viability.
  3.       Engage with communities across Dumfries and Galloway by extending our presence and enhancing communication.

The board meets formally during the day roughly every 6 to 8 weeks but working groups may meet at intervals between these formal meetings.  Directors are not paid but will receive expenses at the rate accorded to other volunteers.  We welcome anyone who might be interested in becoming a director to attend a board meeting as an observer and/or to work alongside one of the existing directors.  Election to the board is a decision taken by the members of the charity at the AGM held in September.

If you are interested in discussing this further, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to Mrs Diana Lord (Chairman of the board) at the Rescue Centre.

Borderlands Partnership welcomes Government funding announcement

Dumfries and Galloway Council, as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal Partnership, is delighted at the announcement of a funding deal of £85Million from the Scottish Government. It is anticipated that the UK Government will make a further announcement in the Spring Statement this afternoon.

The Borderlands Partnership is a unique collaboration that brings together the five cross-border local authorities - Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council.

Now that funding is in place, we can start to build on the six key themes for the project which have been identified as key to the future economic development of our combined area: Digital; Borderlands Energy Investment Company; Destination Borderlands; Quality of Place; Knowledge Exchange Network and Business Infrastructure Programme.

As the first rural deal to be developed and the only proposal to cross the Anglo-Scottish Border, Dumfries and Galloway is in the fortunate position to have the basis for some unique and substantial opportunities for development. There are four focussed, place-based, major projects across the five authorities: Dumfries and Galloway’s being the redevelopment of the 200-hectare site at Chapelcross, which is ideally placed on the border, close to major transport links and has established national Grid connection. Other projects are being progressed as part of the development of the six key themes with Heads of Terms expected to be agreed in June.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal forms part of the Council’s strategy to tackle the challenging economic climate currently facing Dumfries and Galloway. Given the short period of time from the inception of the Borderlands project and coming just six months since the Borderlands Deal proposal was presented to the two governments, we have come a long way in a very short time, which is testament to all the hard work the partnership has put into this unique project.

We are part of a unique area  which has an untapped potential for growth.

This significant funding is in addition to the funding each Local Authority  already invests in growing the economy. Some of the proposed projects and programmes are specific to Dumfries and Galloway as others are to their local authorities, however taken together they will bring real benefit across the whole Borderlands area.”

Depute, Rob Davidson went on to say: “This is just the start of our journey, but with funding in place we can now begin to add in the detail to the six main programmes and thereafter to the projects which will underpin these. With the South of Scotland Economic Agency also starting to take shape our region is in a unique situation, one which has great potential. When we held the first Borderlands Conference in our region last year more than 370 business representatives, Community Groups, public sector organisations and individuals attended on the day. It was through this that we had confirmation that there was not only interest, but need for a project of this type in our region. With this funding we can start to deliver on the commitments we made to those attending and to the population of our region as a whole.”

For more information visit the partnership website or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.