Castle Douglas Development Forum is seeking to bring the Douglas Arms back into reuse to contribute to the Food Town status.
The Forum in cooperation with Castle Douglas Food Town Initiative is currently developing project ideas.
With the support of a new project run in partnership between DTAS (Development Trusts Association Scotland) and the Scottish Land Commission, the Forum are also now looking into the feasibility of homing some of these projects within the Douglas Arms.
The journey to bring a privately owned vacant site back into reuse through community ownership is expected to take a couple of years. Currently, the Forum is researching what level of ownership best suits the community and project needs.
Although this sounds like a long journey, the Forum recognise that it is a challenge worth tackling as many local people have said that finding a productive and viable use for this building is a top local priority.
The project is taking forward one of the ambitions from the recent strategic town plan, and a grant has been awarded by The Architectural Heritage Fund along with support from Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership to commission a feasibility study.
An architect has been recently commissioned to undertake the study which will check that the site is suitable, develop options for how it can be used, and estimate how much work and funding would be required to complete the project.
On the completion of the report, the Forum will consult with the community to ensure their opinions and ambitions can influence the next stages of development and it will provide a springboard for speaking with wider stakeholders and funders. There will be several opportunities to get involved, however, if you would like to express your interest in getting involved please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new partnership project being run by DTAS and the Scottish Land Commission provides professional support for community-led regeneration of vacant and derelict land sites.
The project will run for two years and seeks to develop practical and innovative approaches to bring different types of small and persistently problematic sites back into productive use, in a way that could support and scale-up community led regeneration across Scotland.
The lessons learned from working with six communities across Scotland will then be used to inform future policy advice to the Scottish Government on how best to support community-led regeneration of vacant and derelict sites.