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Funding for growth in Dumfries and Galloway

Published: Monday, 13th January 2020

£500k to regenerate local economy. Enterprise projects in Dumfries and Galloway will receive a share of more than £500k from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP).

This latest tranche of funding includes the following:

  • £320k to Dark Sky Spirits to help establish a new distillery in Moffat
  • £143.6k to a project that aims to enhance social enterprises in the Dumfries and Galloway area
  • £39.5k for the Midsteeple Quarter project in Dumfries, which aims to refurbish underused and neglected High Street buildings as contemporary living, working and learning spaces


Details of projects:

Midsteeple Quarter project

Dumfries High Street Ltd (DHSL) is a community benefit society, formed following a series of engagement activities in the town centre. It  now has a membership of 400 people/businesses. £39.5k has been awarded from SOSEP to DHSL to employ a project officer to drive forward its Midsteeple Quarter redevelopment project action plan.

Moffat Distillery

Dark Sky Spirits Ltd is an artisan blender of malt whisky, with its sole blend, The Moffat, currently created and bottled off-site. SOSEP funding of £320k will assist with the costs of constructing and fitting-out a distillery and bonded warehouse in Moffat to reduce bottling and transportation costs and commence blending. Each of the whiskies developed will be place-based such as The Moffat, The Doonhamer, and The Local Dram tag line.

Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway: Seeding Social Enterprises

SOSEP funding of £143.6k will support an area-based approach to growing social enterprises in Dumfries and Galloway, which has significantly fewer social enterprises per capita than the Scottish Borders. The project seeks to build capacity and share best practice to grow more successful community enterprises. The funding will be used to hire four social enterprise specialists , who will work closely with social enterprises, pro-actively seeking out early stage ventures, providing advice and building their capacity, networks expertise and experience through tailored local training events.

Jamie Hepburn, Business Minister who announced the funding ahead of a visit to the Midsteeple project

“Working with SOSEP, the Scottish Government is making significant and targeted investments in the south of Scotland to help the region achieve its full economic potential.

“These three great projects will create new jobs, attract more visitors to the area, and make Dumfries and Galloway an even more attractive place to live.

“The work of SOSEP, the  region’s new enterprise body, and the £85 million we are investing in the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, underline our commitment to continuing to deliver for the south of Scotland.”

Russel Grigg, SOSEP Chair Professor

“These are the latest in around 30 projects across the region granted funding through SOSEP in order to tackle skills gaps, provide investment in community enterprises, support town centre regeneration and add to the region’s growing tourism offering.

“We need to be ambitious about our area to ensure we fulfil our potential and through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership we are able to invest in and develop those opportunities to make the south the thriving economy we know it can be.”