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Embers – Igniting culturally-led regeneration across Dumfries and Galloway

Our Norwegian Story in Dumfries town centre 2017

How do we connect up the culturally-led work that is happening in communities across D & G and build our region into a powerhouse of enterprise and opportunity?

There is growing recognition that something special is happening in D+G – our creative sector is working at the heart of rural communities and helping to inspire, facilitate and connect other initiatives (eg taking over underused buildings) that are making a real difference for places and the people that live there.  The Stove Network has been both a resource and catalyst for the region through its work in Dumfries town centre. It has formed in-depth working partnerships with the local authority and other groups/agencies, building a portfolio of experience in bringing together community, agency and business interests to develop its work in place-making and culturally-led regeneration.

The Stove has received national and international recognition for their pioneering work in this field and with the advent of the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency (SoSEP) an opportunity has been identified to develop a plan to strengthen the connection between existing projects and seed new ones for the benefit of the region as a whole. SoSEP has granted The Stove funding for a focused piece of work, based on their Enterprising Communities proposal, to look at the opportunity for better shared learning, the support needed for this activity in place-making and culturally-led regeneration and pathways to opportunities in Creative Industries.

How can we work together to strengthen these for our region? What support does this work need to flourish and grow localised decisions for the places we live?

For the next 6 months The Stove will be carrying out a feasibility study for Enterprising Communities, under their project – Embers – igniting culturally-led regeneration across Dumfries and Galloway  to explore and define a joined-up vision for work in place-making and culturally-led regeneration and enterprise in Dumfries and Galloway. This piece of work will not focus on the model to deliver this work but on how we can strengthen the pathways between the work we ALL currently do. We will look at what we need to support this, to encourage new work and sustainable development in this area.

How do we build on existing networks in the communities and cultural/creative sectors – overlaying and combining them to create a powerfully integrated regional field of shared resource, capacity, knowledge, skills and opportunity?

Embers will be led by Katharine Wheeler for The Stove with support from across our networks, agencies and partners. Firstly, Katharine will look at areas of best practice in place-making across the region and secondly, produce a feasibility document as a regional development model for place-making and culturally-led regeneration across Dumfries and Galloway defining out how best to take this forward.

We are working closely with Carnegie Trust who will be providing case studies and help in identifying significant indicators of this work throughout the project.

The feasibility study – Embers – will explore a regional development model in relation to the main aims of how the new South of Scotland’s Enterprising Partnership (SoSEP) can support place-making, creative industries and culturally-led regeneration across Dumfries and Galloway.

This will feed into SoSEP’s current enquires:

  • What forms of support are needed to enable the communities in the South of Scotland to become more resilient and to help communities grow?
  • Advise within that what type of support SOSEP could provide, and how, to enable community organisations to become more successful.
  • What would success look like – for communities and for SoSEP?

We have already been in communication with some of our partners and other organisations and groups across the region about this piece of work and will be looking to connect with others. If you are wanting to find out more about this, or get a copy of our initial Enterprising Communities proposal please email [email protected] directly.

We are delighted to also be working with Issy Petrie, Policy and Development Officer, Carnegie UK Trust on this collaboration – read a recent blog about her work with us here:

D-Lux at Bakers Oven in Dumfries 2018
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