MSP Harper Welcomes Development Funding

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed the Scottish Government announcement of economic development funding for Dumfries & Galloway projects, as part of a £2.1 million cash injection for South of Scotland projects. 



The funding will support economic development in tourism, the business community and agricultural projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

In total, 28 projects will benefit from the funding through the new South of Scotland Economic agency (SoSE), supporting the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and helping to generate future job opportunities.

Dumfries & Galloway projects include:

Crichton Central (£833,127) to redevelop an existing building (Criffel View) on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries to create a business incubation facility – the first of its kind in Dumfries - for small and micro businesses.   

Better Lives Partnership (£275,000) to increase its Bridge2Employment programme, which helps young people with autistic spectrum disorder to access supported learning opportunities and progress into work or further study.   

Boyd Group (£65,000) to assist business expansion at Cargenbridge Industrial Estate, Dumfries. 

Glenkens (£64,079) to create an interactive multi-media hub where young people, community groups and visitors can explore the area’s heritage, enhanced by digital technology; and help establish a range of business services that will generate income and sustain project activities going forward.   

Livestock Holding Facilities (£59,600) to establish a livestock holding facility that will allow a range of local farmers to house their beasts, prior to transportation and processing. This aims to encourage co-operation to reduce costs.

Castle Douglas Community Centre (£23,599) to develop a computing and sound production facility, expanding the provision of IT skills and employability programmes for young people and the self-employed. 

Wigtown Festival Company – a feasibility study funding of £20,000 to  look at the potential to deliver a greater range of activities and events throughout the year to boost income from tourists and local community groups.   

Sanquhar Post Office £20,000 for a feasibility study to explore the tourism potential of the property as well as assessing the possibility of the out buildings being used as business accommodation.   

Farm Innovation for Cows & Co (£20,000) for a study for consideration of a ‘waste to energy’ power plant in a quarry environment to reduce energy costs for farmers and generate innovative business diversification activities.

A Regional Food Chain study to consider the creation of a centralised hub in Castle Douglas, supporting all aspects of food and drink innovation to enable micro businesses to compete for new markets.

And an additional feasibility study funding of £20,000 for Alternative Land Use analysis of whether it is possible to grow a range of alternative crops including energy, pharmaceutical, forestry and industrial crops, as well as field scale vegetables and salad crops, in the South, which is currently dominated by traditional farming and forestry.

And finally, a feasibility study for Littleton Farm AD Plant to seek whether the creation of an on-farm industrial estate (“agri-park”), powered by a commercial scale anaerobic digestion plant, converting farm waste into energy.

Ms Harper commented;

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s economic development funding for these projects in our South West region which have received part of the £2.1 million awarded across the South of Scotland.

“These projects will ascertain how to best capitalise on our strengths in this part of the country and the funding will create jobs, support businesses, develop skills, boost tourism, all vitally needed in South West Scotland as we begin our economic recovery from COVID-19.

”I look forward to connecting with the persons behind the projects and following progress”.