The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

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


DGChamber Lunch: Who is Prof. Craig Mahoney?

We are counting doen to the 2015 DGChamber Business Lunch, this year we have a great guest speaker, Professor Craig Mahooney is the Principal and Vice-Chamcellor at UWS. But who is he?

Previously he served as CEO at the Higher Education Academy.  A dynamic public advocate of higher education, Craig has a keen interest in differentiated student-centred learning, teaching excellence, internationalisation and research informed teaching.

He is an ardent supporter of the use of e-learning; technology enhanced learning and open educational resources. A chartered psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an internationally recognised sport psychologist,

Professor Mahoney has worked with high profile companies such as England Netball for 7 years, English Premier League Referees for 6 years, The Lawn Tennis Association for 6 years, Irish Olympic Sailing for 20 years and is now a member of the Sport Scotland Board. He is also Professor of Higher Education Strategy at the University of Huddersfield.

Professor Mahoney speaks at the DGChamber Annual Business Lunch 2015, Monday October 5th at Easterbrook Hall.


To book tickets click here.


Three Festivals Boost For Region

Dumfries and Galloway’s major festivals and events are one of the outstanding success stories of the region. That is the clear message being sent out by the regional partners who are delivering the Council led Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2014-2017.

The investment provided by the Strategy is producing superb economic results from a host of high profile festivals, the Council can report.

The Wigtown Book Festival, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Spring Fling, Big Burns Supper and the Eden Festival are all reporting increasing numbers of visitors and economic impacts for the wider economy. All of these events are becoming stronger financially through the revenues they are securing and the market niches they are carving out within Scotland and the UK.

The funded events of the strategy created a £10m windfall for the region from visitor and events expenditure in 2014, evaluation reports show, and 2015 will create a similar return. The figures demonstrate a superb return on the Council’s annual investment of £250,000 p.a.

The forthcoming International Sheep Dog Trials, September 10-12 at Meikleholm Farm, will see a new influx of 10,000 plus visitors descend upon Annandale and Eskdale this Autumn. These visitors are expected to create a £1m plus spending boost.

Spring Fling, the region wide open artists’ studio weekend continues to be a superb showcase for regional artists and attracts flocks of visitors. The event was worth more than £1.4m to the area this year with enthusiasts spending £262, 940 in the 95 participating studios. More than five and a half thousand people planned a trip to Dumfries and Galloway in May of this year specifically to visit Spring Fling.

Councillor Colin Smyth, the Local Authority’s Events Champion said; 
The Council’s targeted investment since we adopted the Major Festivals and Events Strategy in November 2013 is developing for our region a rich seam of nationally and internationally significant festivals and events, that are sustainable for the foreseeable future. These events add to our quality of life and help agencies such as VisitScotland successfully market South West Scotland.

We are fully mindful of the knowledge and skills events organisations in Dumfries and Galloway possess, and which they put to fantastic creative use, and the good fortune we have to benefit from such a strong relationship with agencies such as EventScotland the Holywood Trust.  The £10m plus financial windfall for Dumfries and Galloway we are announcing for 2014 demonstrates a superb return on public sector investment from our grant support. The Strategy is a cornerstone of our work to bring economic benefit to the region and to concentrate on activities that develop our economy.

There are many more great events projects in the pipeline and the Council is determined to make Dumfries and Galloway the best rural location for major festivals and events in Scotland. Our signature events are an outstanding success story for the region.”

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said;
The extensive and diverse range of high-quality events and festivals hosted throughout Dumfries & Galloway plays a major part in attracting visitors to the region and showcasing its incredible scenery, inspiring heritage, wonderful attractions and the amazing range of things there are to see and experience here. The value to the region’s tourism industry of a lively, engaging events and festivals programme is huge and we recognise that continued investment in that is critical to continued economic success and growth and are committed to supporting that through EventScotland funding.  

We are delighted that Dumfries and Galloway Council has measured the impact of the investment made into the 2014 events programme and the superb return which this has achieved, and congratulate the Council and all of the events’ organisers involved who have worked so hard to deliver such great results for Dumfries and Galloway. We look forward to seeing many more successes as the exciting 2015 events calendar continues to roll out.”

CPI Rises 0.1% in Latest Release

The CPI 12-month rate (the amount prices change over a year) between July 2014 and July 2015 stood at 0.1%. This means that a basket of goods and services that cost £100.00 in July 2014 would have cost £100.10 in July 2015. This continues the trend of the previous 5 months when inflation had been at or around 0.0%.

In the year to July 2015, food prices fell by 2.7% and prices of motor fuels fell by 11.4%. These 2 groups have provided some of the largest downward contributions to the 12-month rate during

2015. In July 2015, the food and motor fuels groups in total reduced the CPI 12-month rate by approximately 0.7 percentage points. Historically, price movements for these products have been

among the main causes of inflation. An article was published in November 2014 which outlined some possible factors that may be affecting prices.


Council Backs Trusted Trader Scheme

Dumfries and Galloway Councils Trusted Trader Scheme is a local business partnership which aims to increase consumer confidence, promote good practice within local businesses and help to protect local people from doorstep crime.

The Trusted Trader Scheme will Initially focus on the home improvement sector. Any business included in the scheme has been vetted by Trading standards to make sure they are trading legally. This scheme was introduced because of 'cowboy builders' and rogue traders which are of key concern to consumers. It aims to ensure consumers can easily find a reputable trader.


Trusted Trader

If you are using someone who says they are a Trusted Trader or that a friend has recommended to you, remember you should still check they are members of our Trusted Trader scheme. Check on our website for a published directory or by ringing the council on: 0303 333 3000.


Moffat Strikes Gold for 2017

Moffat has struck gold with the news that the 2017 World Gold Panning Championships are to be held in the town.

The British Gold Panning Association has won the rights to hold the global event and will bring it to Moffat in August 2017.

Thousands of competitors and visitors will descend upon the town when the World Championships take place.

Richard Deighton of the British Gold Panning Association said, “We are overjoyed to have beaten off worldwide competition to win the rights to stage the most prestigious event within our calendar in the South of Scotland in 2017. We are confident that the event will have a positive impact on visitor numbers and tourism for Dumfries and Galloway before, during and long after the World Championships take place. We are thrilled with the support we have received in Moffat and feel it is the perfect showcase for gold panning.”

Adam Anderson of the Moffat & District Community Council said, “Our Community Council is delighted that the British Gold Panning Association, who worked tirelessly on their Bid, was successful in winning the rights for the 2017 World Championships.  This is a prestigious event in Gold Panning circles and we look forward to working closely with the officials of the British Gold Panning Association and Dumfries & Galloway Council to ensure that this will be a truly memorable week for everyone. Moffat is primarily a centre for tourism and this event will be a great boost to the local economy. I am sure that the opportunity to host these championships will be welcomed by everyone in the town.”

Councillor Colin Smyth, the Council’s Events Champion said, “While there literally is gold in the hills of Dumfries and Galloway, it is hard work and dedication that will make these World Championships a great attraction in 2017. I am so pleased that the vision the British Gold Panning Association had to bring this event here has paid off, and I look forward to supporting these World Championships wholeheartedly.”