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



The ten-day Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival got off to a great start at the weekend with the bumper 40th Anniversary programme officially opened at an evening reception attended by Ms Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.


Fiona Hyslop speaks at Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival opening


Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival held an official reception at Easterbrook Hall for around 100 invited guests, including former board members, sponsors, funders, Honorary Patron Dame Barbara Kelly and former Festival Secretary Jill Hardy.

Speeches were delivered by Chair of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Ken Gouge, Dani Rae, the Festival’s new Director and the Cabinet Secretary who spoke of the importance of culture and tourism to South of Scotland and the recent investment made in the area. Ken Gouge and Dani Rae made tributes to those who pioneered the festival in 1979, loyal sponsors and funders, the small core staff team and to the dedicated work of local communities, many of whom are volunteers, within Scotland’s third largest region.

A 40th celebratory three tier cake was designed by Dumfries company, Creative Cakes, and officially cut by Dame Barbara Kelly and Chair of the festival’s Young Promoter’s Group, Catriona McGhie from Stranraer.

Ms Hyslop stayed to attend Friday’s Opening Night public performance of Morna Young’s Lost at Sea, presented by Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts, and performed by a ten-strong cast to an audience of nearly 300 people. The play is a personal tribute to Scottish fishing communities and on seeing it, described by the Cabinet Secretary as “powerful” saying she was “delighted to join Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival at the launch with such a great programme”.

On Saturday Dumfries witnessed a High Street Take Over with the Young PromotersGroup offering a Picnic at the Plainstanes (Saturday 25 May) with specially designed ‘game boards’ on picnic benches contributed by Dumfries company, Plaswood. The afternoon’s entertainment included free performances from local dance troop, Razzmattaz, music from local musicians, Rose Byers and Catriona McGhie and thrilling acrobatic acts from professional company ARS Entertainment.



Arts Festival tickets are flying out of the door with five sell-outs so far, including folk music legends Martin & Eliza Carthy at Moffat Town Hall and Team Viking by Tangram Theatre at Mill on the Fleet. The 40th Anniversary programme includes 50 events across 34 regional venues staging award-winning theatre, music, contemporary dance and comedy and will close this weekend (Sunday 2 June) with the Closing Collaboration: Home & Horizon at Lockerbie Town Hall (15:00).

This very last event is a collaboration between Scotland’s top musicians and the region’s home-grown talent including the exceptional talents of Emily Smith, Robyn Stapleton, Wendy Stewart, Aaron Jones, Clare Mann, Jamie McClennan and Tom Pow alongside the formidable Scottish Ensemble, performing a suite of music, song and spoken word, curated by Alison Burns.

Over the arts festival’s final weekend, Dumfries & Stranraer will host west-end, sell-out and hilarious footie comedy – The Red Lion by Rapture Theatre (The Ryan Centre, Friday 31 May and Theatre Royal, Saturday 1 June). Castle Douglas and Stranraer venues will also host multi-award winning gig theatre, Electrolyte, by Wildcard Theatre, a smash hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe (The Town Hall, Castle Douglas, Friday 31 May and Fitba Bar, Stranraer, Saturday 1 June). Three short, family shows performed by Scottish Opera in their pop-up opera truck will also park up at Logan Botanic Gardens, near Stranraer (Friday 31 May, 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00).

The 40th Anniversary programme of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival centres on everyday challenges and triumphs with the themes of love, loss and a sense of place woven throughout it

GalloGlas Celebrate Forestry Commission and Forestry Enterprise Scotland Contract


GalloGlas Security & Logistics Ltd are delighted to announce that they have been awarded the nationwide contract for the provision of a Driver Assessment service to Forestry and Land Scotland (Formerly Forestry Commission Scotland) throughout the whole of Scotland.

Based in Dumfries, GalloGlas Security & Logistics have the sole Scottish Dealership for the award winning Strategic Analytics Team from Manchester, helping them offer Security Integrated Logistics & Training Support.  GalloGlas have a simple ethos of Track your Business, Train your Business, Secure your Business.

With a Training Wing that can provide a comprehensive suite of Medical, Driver and HSE Training programs all offered amazingly on a 24/7 basis, GalloGlas are one of the few Scottish companies that can offer Energy Savings Trust approved driver training.  The contract will be based throughout 10 Scottish Forest Districts, where GalloGlas will have driver trainers in each district

Operationally, GalloGlas specialise in mobile working security and safety solutions, where they can provide anything from 4G Push to Talk / Body Worn Camera Systems to CCTV Installation to the implementation of the most up to date award winning personnel and/or fleet tracking systems.

Commenting on the contract, GalloGlas Operations Director, Richie Nicoll said:

"We as a company are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious contract and we are very much looking forward to getting started.  With other contracts throughout Scotland including the provision of telematics services to Local Authority Incident Response Teams to providing Tracking Systems for Engineering companies, we are slowly building a reputation of excellence in our field, whilst also pushing hard to help companies stamp out their carbon footprint."

For further information, please visit www.GalloGlas.Org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  where a member of staff will be on hand to happily help with your enquiry.

Country’s largest rural performing arts festival takes centre stage

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival takes centre stage as Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival celebrates its 40th Anniversary, opening a programme of 50 events across 34 regional venues from this Friday 24th May until Sunday 2nd June.


Festival Director Dani Rae

The 40th Anniversary programme of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will be launched by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary of Culture, Tourism and External Affairs who will attend the Opening Night Civic Reception and public performance of Morna Young’s Lost at Sea this Friday night (24th May) at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries.

The arts festival will once again deliver high quality live performances which include award-winning comedy, theatre, dance, music and spoken word, in every postcode, bar one, across Scotland’s third largest region.

Across ten-days, residents and visitors to South West Scotland will be treated to award-winning performances throughout the region’s village and town halls, theatres, arts centres pubs and other community spaces. New venues for the events programme this year include Moat Brae; The Birthplace of Peter Pan, The Bridge in Dumfries and Lochans Community Hall in the Rhins of Galloway.

The arts festival opens at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries on Friday 24th May, with a big-stage production of an evocative, acclaimed new piece of theatre Lost at Sea, which has received phenomenal reviews and four award nominations during its world premiere tour.

The play is a personal tribute to Scottish fishing communities and written by Morna Young who admits much of her previous work has been inspired by the region’s landscape and “stunning” coastline. The writer is passionate about the region and reports feeling very at home in Dumfries & Galloway as it is an agricultural area similar to her Moray home.

The 40th Anniversary programme of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival centres on everyday challenges and triumphs with the themes of love, loss and a sense of place woven throughout it.

This year’s programme has been curated by new Director, Dani Rae, who has worked across the creative industries for the last 15 years. An experienced cultural producer she joined from Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society in 2018, returning ‘home’ to deliver this special year’s programme. Her aim is to increase regional audiences and appeal to visitors coming from further afield, developing the well-respected charity whose aim is to encourage accessibility to high quality performing arts events in the rural economy.

The Director’s picks include side-splitting stand-up with TV favourite comedian Lucy Porter – who has just one Scottish date, at Lockerbie Town Hall with her new show ‘Pass it On (Wednesday 29th May) and blood pumping, Edinburgh Fringe sell-out, Electrolyte, a multi-award winning piece of gig-theatre by Wildcard, coming to the Corner House, Annan (Thursday 30th May), Castle Douglas Town Hall (Friday 31st May) and Fitba Bar, Stranraer (Saturday 1st June).  

High Street Take Over – Picnic at the Plainstanes (Saturday 25 May) in Dumfries, has been programmed by the festival’s Young Promoters Group offering free live performances all afternoon, including professional acrobats and a spotlight on local, talented musicians.

Newton Stewart and Moffat welcome the good doctor of folk Martin Carthy and his twice Mercury Prize-nominated daughter, Eliza Carthy (Saturday 25 and Monday 27 May) who collaborate in their uniquely charismatic and visceral style.

The remarkable, hilarious and heart-lifting true story of Team Viking, a comic ode of a promised ‘full Viking burial’ presented by Tangram Theatre (Monday 27, Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 May) offer a brilliant combination of storytelling, live music and comedy and will be staged right across the region in three locations; Gatehouse of Fleet, Moffat and Lochans.


Dance lovers are in for a treat with a new production from Joan Cleville Dance, The North, supported by the Rural Touring Dance Initiative. The show delivers elements of cinematic visual and sound design with original music from Mogwai regular Luke Sutherland and an eclectic soundtrack from Wagner to Frank Sinatra, performed in new venue The Bridge, Dumfries (Wednesday 29 May).

Scottish Opera are parking up their fantastic pop-up opera truck, re-creating the fully accessible Glasgow Theatre Royal, to delight family and friends with three short shows; A Little Bit of Magic Flute, A Little Bit of Lolanthe and Puffy McPuffer & the Crabbit Canals, for an organised schools performance in Gretna (Thursday 30 May) and for public performances in Logan Botanic Garden (Friday 31 May) and Crawick Multiverse near Sanquhar (Saturday 1 June).

A west-end sell-out ‘footie’ comedy, The Red Lion, presented by Rapture Theatre and starring Emmerdale and Brookside actor John McArdle. An all-star cast will entertain audiences with a battle of wills and lots of laughs, written by Patrick Marber and performed in both Stranraer Ryan Centre (Friday 31 May) and the Theatre Royal, Dumfries (Saturday 1 June).

Scottish Ensemble perform two concerts within the 40th Anniversary programme including Dance Music with guest director Malin Broman, Leader of the Swedish Radio Orchestra and an award-winning violinist, with the performance celebrating music designed to make us move (Thursday 30th May) in Theatre Royal, Dumfries.

Closing the Anniversary programme will be ‘Home and Horizon’ (Sunday 2 June). Curated by Alison Burns a suite of music, song and spoken word, inspired by Dumfries & Galloway, will be performed by a selection of Scotland’s top musicians in collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, featuring the region’s exceptional ‘home-grown’ talent’ such as Emily Smith, Robyn Stapleton, Wendy Stewart, Aaron Jones, Clare Mann, Jamie McClennan and award-winning writer Tom Pow.

Dani Rae, Director of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, said: “It’s a real privilege to return home and present the 40th Anniversary of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, bringing the best in live performing arts to one of the most glorious parts of the world, a festival which has been part of the creative life blood of the region since 1979.”

“We’re delighted Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs will launch this commemorative year and attend Festival Opener, Lost at Sea, a show which is indicative of the quality of live performances we bring to venues right across Dumfries & Galloway.

“I look forward to continuing to develop the essence and original focus of those who pioneered the very first arts festival in 1979 - to enable local communities to be able to see the highest quality shows without having to travel to the cities”.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival takes high quality performances to some of the most remote areas of the country, and is a fantastic example of making arts accessible to all and empowering communities to have a say in what they want to see.


“I am particularly impressed by the Young Promoters Group, which provides real skills development and employment opportunities to the region’s young people who want to work in the performing arts sector.


“I look forward to seeing what this exciting showcase festival has to offer in its 40th year, and in the future.”

Lorna Duguid, Multi-artform Manager, Creative Scotland, commented:

“Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is a key organisation in the delivery of performing arts and culture in Dumfries and Galloway.  It has, and continues to be, an important keystone for access to high quality programming for the area and this year’s 40th anniversary programme is no exception, reaching new audiences and venues across the region, with work from some of Scotland’s most exciting artists.”


To see the full programme for the 40th Anniversary of Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival,



Scottish Labour has launched a public consultation on their proposed ‘Mary Barbour’ law, which will cap annual rent increases in private sector properties at one percentage point above inflation.

There are an estimated 10,000 private sector renters in Dumfries and Galloway.



The Member’s Bill, named after campaigner Mary Barbour who led the 1915 Glasgow Rent Strikes, will cap increases on private sector rents and give more power to tenants. The proposed law will cap annual private sector rent increases across Scotland at one percentage point above inflation. The number of people living in private rented accommodation has increased in recent years, with more and more families negatively affected by soaring rent costs.

The proposed Bill would introduced a package of measures including:

  • Capping annual private sector rent increases at one percentage point above inflation
  • Giving tenants more power in rent appeal processes
  • Expanding the landlord register to include the level of rent charged.

Members of the public have until the 31 July 2019 to make their views known on the proposal.

South Scotland Labour MSP , Colin Smyth said, “The vast majority of private landlords in Dumfries and Galloway are responsible and don’t rip off tenants but sadly a small minority do . A lack of social housing is forcing more and more people to rent privately where some landlords are increasing rents higher than inflation and wage growth, pushing families closer and closer to the breadline. Labour’s Mary Barbour law would tackle exploitative landlords by capping private sector rent increases, giving people across Dumfries and Galloway the security of secure and affordable tenancies. The proposal shows that Scottish Labour is the only party in Scotland who has the ideas to implement real change to our public services, transform our economy, that will tackle poverty and create a society for the many.”

Human Trafficking and Exploitation Awareness Training

Hope for Justice Training and Development Officer Alister Bull will provide free Human Trafficking and Exploitation Awareness training on Tuesday June 11, in partnership with Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway.



Sessions in the morning (10.30am-12.30pm) and afternoon (1.30pm-3.30pm) are available at Lochvale House in Dumfries.

On completion of this training session you will be able to:

1. Explain what Human Trafficking and Exploitation is and identify the different types that exist;

2. Recognise the signs and indicators of Human Trafficking and Exploitation;

3. Respond appropriately to a case / victim of Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

Hope for Justice deliver high quality, award winning, interactive training to ensure you will have the skills needed to successfully identify victims or cases of Human Trafficking and Exploitation and respond appropriately.

To book on either session click here:

For further information on Hope for Justice please visit their website