Castle Douglas Development Forum has received backing from the Scottish Government’s Investing In Communities Fund.
The fund aims to enable local communities to address local priorities and needs, increase active inclusion and build on the assets of local communities. Castle Douglas Development Forum was successful in applications for two parts of the fund and will receive around £120,000 over three years. The first part of the fund will provide staffing and an office base for the charity which is now a development trust. This will allow the group to build membership amongst the community and continue to expand its work in civic events, the town charity shop, Castle Douglas Journal, Men’s Shed, ParkRun and Heart of Galloway Visitor Centre.
Chairperson Carolyn Yates said: ‘This funding will provide a massive boost to Castle Douglas Development Forum. The group has grown considerably in the past few years and the projects the community are asking us to become involved in are ever more diverse. Having professional staffing and an office base will allow us to serve the community in a consistent manner.‘
The second project part of the funding will see the government invest around £50,000 in the development of the former Carlingwark Outdoor Activity Centre and Lochside Caravan park into a community-owned asset for the town.
Project Manager Sarah-Jane Allsopp said: We are absolutely delighted to receive the backing of the Scottish Government for the Carlingwark project. Since the Council announced the closure we have been working hard in the background to re-animate the centre. This funding will enable us to put together a comprehensive project plan and community asset transfer. We are raring to go and plan to start community consultation in the following weeks and months. Keep your eyes peeled for a series of events where we will ask you how you would like to see Carlingwark and Lochside caravan park develop in the future. We hope to create a recreation hub open to local residents, schools and tourists. We are particularly interested in speaking with organisations that would be interested in making use of any future facility. It’s important that we design a site which the community feel is ours and is at the heart of the town.’
The group plan to get children back on the water as soon as possible and are planning an activities day in partnership with Galloway Activity Centre in May 2020. They are in talks with Dumfries and Galloway Council about an interim agreement in order to get the building open again which would help them test ideas and build a strong business case.
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