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Galloway national park bid: Fresh talks planned

image copyrightJim Barton
image captionFresh talks will be held in January about a bid to create a third Scottish national park in Galloway
A renewed effort will be made in the new year to secure consultation on the bid to make Galloway Scotland's third national park.
Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson will hold talks with Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon.
He is seeking a commitment to carry out consultation over the proposal when they meet in January.
However, the Scottish government warned last month that financial concerns over such schemes had "not gone away".
image copyrightMJ Richardson
image captionMSPs have been told there are no current plans to give any new areas the status
MSPs were told in November that there were no current plans to designate any new national parks in Scotland.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham warned at the time that any proposal would need to be assessed in the context of the "real concerns around public finances" and the costs of such projects.
Mr Carson said he believed the potential economic benefits for Galloway outweighed such concerns.
He described it as like a "rural City Deal" where money put in up front would deliver benefits in future.
image copyrightBilly McCrorie
image captionFinlay Carson said a national park could help put the area on the map
"We know there is a return on the investment at other national parks and Galloway should be no different," he said.
Mr Carson said the status was recognised around the world and would make "such a difference" to the area.
"We are often seen as the forgotten part of Scotland - or the undiscovered part of Scotland," he said.
"A classification of a national park would really work wonders to drive visitors here which, in turn, would help businesses and make the whole area more sustainable."

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  • Galloway national park financial fears persist