The Guild Dumfries celebrates grant from Scotland’s development agency

The Guild (Dumfries) C.I.C have been granted an award from Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise.

Co-founder Kirsten Scott – along with fellow co-founder Leah Halliday – successfully applied for a £5000 Start It Award from Firstport to help develop a community space in the town.

This will offer multiple, affordable and rentable concessions in their shop, have both a studio and workshop space, as well as meeting rooms, a venue for exhibitions and events, and a community kitchen.

The Guild will rent their available space to a community of makers, a variety of local groups, businesses and organisations, offering a central place where people can meet, work, create and collaborate, with a strong ethos of encouraging participation and social inclusion.

Kristen said: “We are overjoyed and honoured to receive this award which will help us to get our idea off the ground. The award will support us as we develop our vision and bring our business plans to life.”

The Awards Programme is funded by the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund (SEF), which since 2009 has made 630 awards and distributed £4.9 million across Scotland.

SEF looks for individuals who have a focus on the business side of their idea and are looking to create a long-term solution to a social issue.

Kristen said the aim was to develop a sustainable business that would reinvest profits into the community by improving and extending the range of facilities and services provided.

This would then help the community develop and increase its impact on the economy of Dumfries and Galloway and enhance its reputation as a destination for lovers of locally made quality arts and crafts and artisan goods.

The Guild Dumfries was helped by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway during their application process and the award will now support them to develop their vision and bring their business plans to life.​

Social enterprise is about running a business, making a profit, and using that money to create a positive social impact.

It is a way of doing business which focuses on tackling social problems, strengthening communities, improving people’s life chances or protecting the environment, as opposed to generating profit for private individuals or bodies.

Any surplus income, after covering running costs and salaries, is reinvested in the business and goes towards its social aims.

To find out more about The Guild’s plans click here:

To discover more about Firstport click this link:

Picture: Galina Walls Photography