Galloway Glens scheme celebrating third birthday

Today marks the three year anniversary of the Galloway Glens Scheme getting under way.

To date, more than £2.3million has been spent on projects – delivering jobs, education/training schemes, footpaths, refurbished buildings, new facilities, protection for species and habitats and support for communities up and down the Ken/Dee Valley.

Overall, the scheme will see more than £5million spent between 2018 and 2023.

Highlights to date include:
• 8 refurbished buildings including the new facilities at the Otter Pool and the Balmaclellan Smiddy;
• 15 miles of improved footpath, including 2 bridges;
• More than 360 school pupils attending events, with more than 4,000 people attending online events;
• 1394 hectares of Galloway landscape under active management.

Looking back at the 3 years of operation so far, Galloway Glens Team leader McNabb Laurie said: “The principle of a ‘Landscape Partnership’ Scheme is that a series of projects are undertaken in a co-ordinated and strategic approach – this means each project benefits from each other and you end up with something that is greater than simply the sum of parts. This has happened numerous times and often in some very unexpected ways, but it is brilliant to see some of the projects and work behind the scenes now bearing fruit.

“My thanks go to everyone involved, particularly the National Lottery Heritage Fund – supported by lottery players around the country – who have been steadfast in their support, and the Council’s Environment Team for their foresight in seeing the opportunity for a scheme like this.

“Our confidence has grown through the life of the project with us now considering how the amazing heritage assets that we have in Galloway can influence some of today’s challenges. We are exploring ways to engage with the upcoming COP26 Climate conference in November and developing relationships with new players such as South of Scotland Enterprise.

“We calculate that we have so far given work to more than 180 D&G based businesses. I am looking forward to the remainder of the scheme, some of our most exciting projects are still to be delivered.”

The Galloway Glens Scheme is overseen by a Partnership Board made up of a range of national and local stakeholders. Scheme Chairman, Ted Leeming added: “From peatlands to marketing, and from training to footpaths, the breadth of what is being pursued through the Galloway Glens Scheme is quite awesome. I add my thanks to everyone involved – the other members of the Partnership Board and the team, who have responded so well to recent challenges.

“More than 75 per cent of expenditure to date has been with Dumfries and Galloway based businesses – it is important that we don’t lose sight of the direct benefit that a scheme like this brings, and I am so grateful for everyone that has worked with us so far. Onwards!”

The Galloway Glens Scheme consists of a suite of projects taking place up and down the Ken/Dee valley between 2018 and 2023, seeking to ‘connect people to their heritage’ while boosting economic activity and supporting sustainable communities. For more information, visit the website: https://gallowayglens.org/.