MP seeks views on Dumfries town centre future

Dumfries residents are being invited to put forward ideas to help breathe new life into the town's declining centre.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack is seeking public support to help create an achievable vision for a more attractive heart to the regional capital.

Alister, whose constituency takes in most of the town, states Dumfries still has much to offer but believes vital improvements could be delivered with the right ideas and a united effort.

At the weekend he launched a 'Have your say …' survey and is encouraging as many people from the town and wider region as possible to put forward their ideas by participating.

The public can find the easy-to-follow questionnaire online at the MP's website at www.alisterjack.co.uk or by collecting a form from his constituency office at 20 Academy Street, Dumfries.

Responses must be completed before the final deadline on Friday September 7 and after careful analysis the findings will be presented to Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Alister, who lives with his wife and family near Dumfries, fondly recalls the vibrant and bustling market town of decades ago.

He explained that like most towns of its size the retail sector has suffered from the growth of out-of-town stores and more recently the expansion of internet shopping.

However, he said: "There have been successes elsewhere which perhaps Dumfries can learn from?

"For example, encouraging more people to live in some town centres has spawned new services and retail uses in what were previously empty shops.

"Or perhaps ideas which have already been floated locally such as more on-street parking or the full or partial removal of the pedestrianised zone could be considered?

"Everyone has their own ideas and I want to hear them.

"I would like the views of as many local people as possible to be considered to help achieve our main goal -- a more attractive, vibrant and economically sustainable town centre." 

Among those at the survey launch outside the Midsteeple were councillors, other stakeholders and existing town centre residents.