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


Dumfries Town Centre To Go Twenty

Parts of Dumfries town centre will fall under temporary 20mph speed limit from Friday 12 March. Dumfries and Galloway Council are responding to public feedback by putting in place a temporary 20mph speed limit in Dumfries town centre through working with Sustrans and their spaces for people project.



The scheme is intended to reduce motor vehicle speeds through the town centre and in turn reduce the likelihood of collisions/ accidents, road casualties and injury severity.  It will create a safer environment for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable groups in our communities, and assist with physical distancing to limit the transmission of coronavirus.

During 2020, the Council asked people across Dumfries and Galloway which temporary solutions they need to help them feel safer as they walk, wheel or cycle through town centres during COVID-19. There was overwhelming support among residents of Dumfries for reducing vehicle speeds in the interest of public health and safety. This self-enforcing, blanket 20mph speed limit will encourage considerate and respectful driving within the town centre. By creating a safer experience for town centre visitors, the temporary scheme will support people to shop local and shop safely, helping to revitalise the local economy.

The temporary speed limit is due to come into effect from Friday 12 March, as part of the Spaces for People Programme.  Funded by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans Scotland. Spaces for People is a temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland which offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during Covid-19.

Once in place, the temporary 20mph scheme will be added to Sustrans’ Space to Move map for the public to provide feedback on.  The Council will undertake an initial review of the 20mph scheme after it has been in place for 4-6 weeks.

Councillor John Martin, Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee said:

“A 20mph speed limit for Dumfries town centre will not only reduce vehicle speeds and accidents, but also make the roads and streets more attractive and safer for active travel and vulnerable user groups. These are unprecedented and challenging times and our committed and dedicated staff have designed a scheme which will help encourage people back to the town centre in the interests of public health and economic recovery as we attempt to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Michael Melton, Interim Infrastructure Manager for Sustrans Scotland said:

“We hope that the new 20mph limit in Dumfries town centre will encourage more people to walk, cycle or wheel.  20mph areas help to reduce the number of road accidents and make people feel safer while going about their day to day journeys.”


Scotland Tour Operators Fund

The criteria for the Scotland Inbound Tour Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund has widened and a new fund, the Scotland Day Tour Operators – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund, has been introduced to support more Scotland-based businesses in the tour operator sector critical to Scotland’s tourism economy.

Due to the complexity and breadth of businesses within the sector, a two-strand approach to grant funding is necessary to meet the needs of the sector.  



The two strands are: 

  • Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund:  guidance available week beginning 1 March, applications open Thursday 4 March 2021
  • Scotland Day Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund:  guidance available now, applications open Thursday 4 March 2021

The £15 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and has been developed with input from the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Destination Management Association, the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association, UK Inbound and the Scottish Independent Tour Operators Association. 



Scottish Country Sports Tourism Restart Fund

The £1 million fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and has been developed with the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

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The fund is aimed at providing lifeline support to:

  1. Sporting agencies – Sporting agencies bring tourists to Scotland to participate in country sports. Agencies will facilitate and arrange the various key elements of the sporting holiday, which includes but is not limited to sporting activity, accommodation, equipment provision, and food and drink. 
  2. Guided sporting services – Sporting guides bring tourists to Scotland to participate in country sports. Guides tend to take a more practical approach by being in the field or on the water with customers while they conduct sporting activity. Guided sporting activities include but are not limited to game shooting, deer stalking, falconry, wildfowling, ferreting, gun dog training, target shooting, fly fishing, coarse angling and sea angling.  
  3. Land-based sporting businesses – Land-based sporting businesses that manage land for country sports tourism. Activities include but are not limited to shooting, deer stalking and fishing. 
  4. Fishing charter operators – Boats run for the primary purpose of guided recreational fishing charters, i.e. where additional activities such as diving or nature watching trips are less than 25% of total turnover. 

There is a fixed amount of funding available and we’re anticipating a high demand for this fund across the sector. The amount awarded to each applicant will be determined by the eligibility criteria and supporting information provided. 

The grants will be paid over a range of award amounts up to a maximum of £15,000 per company and will be limited to one application per company. 

The final amount awarded to a successful applicant will be determined once all applications are received and vetted, and will be dependent on the number of successful applications to this fund.


Applications for the fund are now open until 5pm on Wednesday 3 March.

Hostel Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund

This fund is now open for applications. 

The deadline for applications is midday on Tuesday 2 March 2021.


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The fund aims to help keep hostel businesses operating while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare for reopening in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. 

The £2.3 million fund is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland, with development input from Scottish Independent Hostels, Hostelling Scotland and Independent Hostels UK.

This fund is open to proprietors of hostel businesses. You may be a sole trader, a partnership, a company limited by shares or by guarantee, a registered charity, a Scottish limited partnership or any other legal entity recognised under Scots Law.

You may either own or lease your business premises, but in either case you must be the party who runs the business which has been adversely financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 



Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers – Reopens

The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is re-opening at 2pm on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, including the Screen Hardship Fund, will re-open for applications at 2pm on Tuesday 2 March 2021 , and close at 2pm on Tuesday 22 March 2021.

There will be a total of £9 million of Scottish Government funding available - The fund will be open to both new and previous applicants to apply for up to £2,000 through the online application portal. This fund is administrated by Creative Scotland.

Full fund guidance, including edibility criteria, will be available from 2pm on Tuesday 2 March 2021.


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Visit the Creative Scotland site for further information and to access the new fund guidance.