South Scotland

Regeneration plan drawn up for Upper Nithsdale

Upper Nithsdale Mix Image copyright other

Plans for a multi-million pound regeneration of a former coal mining heartland in the south-west of Scotland have been unveiled.

The proposal would see investment of £3.3m in the Upper Nithsdale area of Dumfries and Galloway over five years.

Projects to tackle unemployment, population decline, and transport problems are among those outlined in the regeneration plan.

It was drawn up after a two-day consultation with local residents.

The strategy would focus on improving towns and villages in the region, including Sanquar, Kirkonnel and Kelloholm, and Wanlockhead.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to allocate funds of £750,000 to regenerate the area over two financial years from 2014-17.

A report to councillors on the Nithsdale Area Committee has proposed using the initial funding allocation to prioritise four projects.

They include:

  • welcome signs for towns in the region
  • an enterprise centre for the area, based in Kirkconnel-Kelloholm
  • costed design proposals to upgrade the town centre between Sanquhar's town hall, Tollbooth museum and A' The Airts art centre
  • plans to create a more appealing main street in Kirkconnel-Kelloholm.

The report said the wider plan could create up to 30 additional jobs in the region - equal to a 2.3% increase in the current employment base of about 1,300 jobs.

It added: "Furthermore, public investment in town centres has the potential to attract further private sector investment to sites and properties - improving the value of local assets - as well as generating growth in footfall and turnover and an overall increase in the economic performance of town centre economies."

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