South Scotland

Dumfries arts project debate on hold

The Stove
The council called for a full business case for investing in The Stove project

A council debate on whether or not to intervene to help safeguard a £2m arts project in southern Scotland has been put on hold.

The Stove building - a former High Street store in Dumfries - was converted to aid town regeneration.

Last month Dumfries and Galloway Council called for a full business case before making a decision.

This week a paper was withdrawn before the authority had the opportunity to discuss it.

The site is owned by Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce and run by a voluntary arts group.

Phase one of the conversion is complete but the chamber has said it cannot commit funds to the second phase.

Councillors had been asked to step in but they wanted more information about the project.

Way forward

The remaining works programme, which is largely to ensure the complex is fully accessible, has a total cost of £242,000.

In a bid to find a way forward, Dumfries and Galloway Council was asked to intervene.

It has been proposed that ownership of the property is transferred to the local authority at no cost.

The building would then be leased to the Stove for a period of 25 years.

As part of the deal, the council would commit £82,000 towards completing the conversion work.

The remaining funding would come from Scottish government and the Stove group.

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