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Making Dumfries – Part 1

Week beginning 28th March sees the Stove welcome the Scottish Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design into our world with a series of events and activity, as the first part of an ongoing project, Making Dumfries. Over the course of the next few months, Making Dumfries will create opportunities to contribute to the development of a new vision for the town centre, with workshops facilitated by leading local designers and cultural groups, of which our events are the starting point of.

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Square Go
Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th of March 10am – 4pm daily
Join the Stove alongside a team of local architects, artists and planners in creating a giant pavement drawing re-imagining the town centre – whatever your interests. How would you like to experience Dumfries in the future? As part of Square Go, the Glasgow Institute of Architects will set up the travelling pavilion, Eolas in the square which will be the HQ for our Square Go project, drop by and get involved.
If you are interesting in participating in the development of this project there are more details available here

Possible Scotland
Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th of March Lateral North’s touring project, Possible Scotland will visit Dumfries as it travels around Scotland in 2016 to support and work with the Square Go project. Join the team for an open workshop on Wednesday, from 2 – 5pm.


Scottish Scenic Route exhibition
28th March – 8th April
From the 28th of March, the Stove will host the Scottish Scenic Route exhibition, a project exploring the impact and possibility of small architectural interventions along Scotland’s key tourist routes.

Film Premiere
Tuesday 29th March 7pm
The premiere of a specially comissioned film by artist and filmmaker, John Wallace exploring the history and culture of Dumfries High Street. The screening will be accompanied by talks and discussions on the past and future of the High Street. All welcome.

News Project Updates

Lateral North and the Norway Connection

You are invited to share ideas and contribute to our Cultural Wayfinding event on 5th – 7th November with Lateral North and The Stove Network.


Town Centers are a hot topic throughout Scotland at the moment and how people might once again populate them. Initiatives have been established by the Scottish government and partnership organisations with the likes of Scotland Can Do Towns and Scottish Towns Partnership leading the way and working with communities throughout Scotland. Discussions, conferences, ideas and innovative project proposals are increasing as we try to connect communities to their local shops and town centers.

Dumfries is one such place taking an extremely innovative approach where art and design takes centre stage to provide innovative solutions for their town centre. Arts resource, The Stove Network, have been working on a variety of projects to regenerate the town centre, residing in one such building no longer in use and turning it into a hub of creative thinking and out of-the-box design.

The Stove Network have teamed up with Lateral North, an architecture, research and design collective based in Glasgow but with strong connections to Dumfries, to work on an exciting, dynamic and innovative project reflecting on the culture, heritage and built environment of Dumfries town centre which has been forgotten or is not particularly highlighted.


Their Cultural Wayfinding project aims to establish a series of opportunities, which would not only increase tourism but also act as an economic catalyst for new jobs and opportunities for local people based around art and design showing how it can highlight the culture of this historic town.

The first of these initiatives aims to showcase Dumfries’ relationship with Norway and in particular the buildings which lie hidden within our town centre which once hosted the Norwegian army in exile and provided them with a space to hold meetings and gave them places to live throughout World War II.


Lateral North and The Stove Network will host a 3 day workshop between 5-7th of November where they invite the public along to contribute their ideas to a public art installation which will highlight the building used as Headquarters and Cultural Centre by Norwegians from 1940: Norway House at 8 Church Street. The building currently lies empty, and with extortionate retail rates probably will for some time to come, however, this project will highlight the creative opportunities which could happen within such a space allowing communities to bring tourists into their town centers and create economic activity through their existing built environment.

Graham Hogg of Lateral North who was brought up in Dumfries said “I’ve watched Dumfries town centre slowly lose more and more of its local shops with vacant shops popping up. It’s had a detremental effect on the town as a whole and I believe it is fantastic that Stove is leading this exciting project. To be part of it is a real honour and hopefully through the Norway House project we can create an exciting and innovative model which can be applied throughout Dumfries town centre in the future but also be adopted throughout the rest of Scotland.”

To attend the workshop please email Ellen at the Stove Network: [email protected]

NB There are paid opportunities for Stove Network members to assist with the project on 5, 6 and 7th November. To find out more please contact [email protected]

Supported by:

News Project Updates

Thinking Differently About Our Town

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Dumfries is a town at the gateway to Scotland. Famous for its relationship with Rabbie Burns, the town is the nodal point of the region (Dumfries and Galloway) and has a strong heritage past, and an even stronger cultural potential.

Cities, towns and villages throughout Scotland are reimagining their centres and what function they serve within their urban setting.

Inverness is creating different artworks along its River Ness ranging from simple signage installations through to engineered viewing platforms; Oban is reinventing its waterfront and becoming a hub for the Hebrides; Helmsdale has centred its village around arts and heritage with a wonderful cultural centre that is growing leaps and bounds; and even rural Scotland is getting involved in the act with initiatives such as the Scottish Scenic Routes, Spring Fling and the North Coast 500 aiming to reinvent the landscape that they find themselves within.

Dumfries has a similar ambition to reinvent, reimagine and reactivate its high street, its town centre and its entire region. The Stove Network working in collaboration with Lateral North and creative organisations throughout Dumfries would like to invite you to contribute your ideas for a future Dumfries and ultimately towards creating new ideas within the town to showcase the heritage, cultural, environmental, industrial and creative communities that thrive within Dumfries.

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Join us to design these interventions, contribute your ideas and find out about the Dumfries you don’t know; yet.
If you’re someone with a passion for the town of Dumfries, and a commitment to being part of its future, then join us for the Cultural Wayfinding Workshop on the 15th July at The Stove. Full information about the event can be found here.

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