You can save Dumfries Town Centre – Donate to the Midsteeple Quarter Crowdfunder
UPDATE: TARGET NOW REDUCED!
Due to a number of significant direct donations from private donors we are delighted to announce that our Crowdfunder target has now reduced to £190,000!
Thank you to every single person who has donated, commented, liked and shared our Crowdfunder - we have made incredible progress in a short period of time and we cannot put into words how much your support means to us.
Although our target has significantly reduced, we still have a long way to go! We have until Sunday to raise just over £170,000 so we can purchase 109, 111 and 121 High Street as well as do essential repairs and cover insurance.
We still have a long way to go, so this weekend, we are asking you to please donate what you can, share our campaign with your friends, family and colleagues, and help us spread the word! Every donation matters, whatever the amount, and will support us to make our ambitious plan for our town centre a reality.
Let's do this Dumfries!
Midsteeple Quarter is a community benefit society breathing new life into Dumfries town centre. It is made up of people passionate about changing the face of our town centre.
We are buying and redeveloping empty High Street properties to create a new neighbourhood. This will create a thriving new heart for Dumfries built on principles of local prosperity and well-being.
In November 2018, we gained ownership of our first building, ‘The Oven’, located at 135-139 High Street, and last year we announced the purchase of 113-115 and 117-119 High Street, renamed ‘The Smithy’ and ‘The Press’.
The Covid pandemic has intensified the pressures on High Streets around the country with stores closing practically every week – this situation just amplifies the need for a fresh approach and we are (for once!) fortunate in Dumfries to be a little ahead of the curve by having the Midsteeple Quarter vision in place and underway. The pandemic is also encouraging previously reluctant owners to sell their properties and part of the recovery from Covid must be the re-use of vacant retail spaces for new local businesses and social enterprises to start up.
We are now urging local people and Midsteeple Quarter followers to support us to purchase the remaining three empty buildings within the Midsteeple Quarter – 109, 111 and 121 High Street.
All these buildings, including upper floors have been mostly abandoned and un-used for several years.
We have been awarded a grant from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF). But the grant only goes part way towards the purchases and we need to show that the community are behind the initiative by supporting it financially. We have organised this Crowdfunder to raise the remainder of the money required to purchase the buildings as well as do essential repairs and cover insurance.
In awarding the grant, the Scottish Land Fund Board commented that with the current problems High Streets all over the UK are facing, Midsteeple Quarter is of national importance as an innovative project focusing on community-led regeneration as a possible solution.
“We hope that everyone will back the Midsteeple Quarter Crowdfunder– it has become apparent that local people know best what the town needs, with out of town landlords showing that they don’t care enough about what is happening on the High Street, leaving several shops lying empty and decaying. It’s time for a new approach to bringing life back to the town centre, one in which local people show what they can do.”
— Evie Copland, Chair of MSQ Board
Following the purchase of 113-115 High Street and 117 High Street in September, Midsteeple Quarter are now moving into the next phase of their plans for the regeneration of Dumfries High Street. The purchase of these buildings is key to wider plans to repurpose the town centre, with more diverse and vibrant offerings of premises and spaces that will accommodate housing and a range of commercial, retail, leisure and community uses.
The Crowdfunder will run from Monday 18th January at 9am, ending on Sunday 14th February (Valentine’s Day) at midnight, signifying our passion for change and a love for Dumfries High Street. Dumfries is leading the way as the first community buy-out of a High Street in the country and Midsteeple Quarter are urging local people, MSQ supporters and the wider world to support us and come together to take back control of the High Street and help fund the purchase of 109, 111 and 121 High Street*.
These three buildings will likely remain empty for the next few years if urgent action is not taken, but should Midsteeple Quarter be successful, these buildings will be part of a prosperous future; a future that would see part of our High Street held in common ownership by local people. We need your help to make it happen. Any donation will support us to make our ambitious plan for our town centre a reality.
You can find out more about Midsteeple Quarter and our project here: www.midsteeplequarter.org
Thank you for any support you can give to the project – the future of our town depends on ordinary folk being prepared to make a difference!
* Should we be unable to meet the fundraising target, we will use the funds to purchase as many of the three buildings as we are able. Any remaining funds will be put towards the required work to bring those buildings back to usable condition. If you are not happy for your donation to be used in this way, please send an email to [email protected] and we will return your money to you.