The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.


Local Labour Politicians Push for Station Re-Openings

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth and Local Councillors Adam Wilson and Sean Marshall are urging Transport Scotland to progress the application to potentially re-open Beattock, Eastriggs and Thornhill Train Stations.

The call comes as a report to a meeting of the South West of Scotland Transport Partnership (SWESTRANs) will consider the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) 2 reports which were carried out in the last financial year.

The STAG 2 Reports led to options being produced for improved transport connectivity for Beattock and Moffat, Eastriggs and Thornhill individually. A number of options are proposed but it is highlighted in the reports that re-opening the stations would improve direct public transport connectivity to the Central Belt, Dumfries and Carlisle.

Completing the STAG appraisals will conclude the pre-pipeline process which infrastructure work bids have to complete. If the Station Re-opening bids are successful they will then progress onto the pipeline which will lead to an outline business case and final business case being developed before a final decision was taken to progress with the Station re-opening.

Dumfries and Galloway Council have a commitment to campaign and work with Transport Scotland and Network Rail to see the re-opening of all three of the Stations. The Re-opening of the three Stations also features South West Scotland Transport Study (SWSTS) which is currently being carried out by Transport Scotland.

CS Kirkconnel Re-opening


Local Labour politicians Colin Smyth, Adam Wilson and Sean Marshall believe that Transport Scotland should progress the Station re-opening applications to the pipeline process.

Colin Smyth MSP, Chair of the Eastriggs Action Group said, “A clear case has been made by communities in Eastriggs, Thornhill, Beattock and Moffat for these Stations to be re-opened to improve the connectivity of their communities. Re-opening the Stations would provide improved access to training and employment for our young people and provide increased opportunities for connectivity within and out with the region.

Infrastructure decisions such as Station re-openings are often made on the basis of cost-benefits analysis. However, it is well known that in rural areas a cost-benefit analysis result can not compete with a result for a similar project in the Central Belt with a larger population. Transport Scotland must consider the huge opportunity that re-opening these Stations could have for local communities, to grow our local community and to respond to the climate emergency by encouraging people to use public transport.”

Councillor Adam Wilson, whose Annandale North ward covers Beattock said, “The Beattock Station Action Group have campaigned for many years to get to this point. The Group have secured land adjacent to the railway line to allow for supporting infrastructure to be put in place. I will be pushing for the SWESTRANs board to submit the STAG report to Transport Scotland and urge them to seriously consider the benefit it could bring to the community and our economy.”

Councillor Sean Marshall, whose Annandale South ward covers Eastriggs said, “I have campaigned for a Railway Station since becoming a Councillor and it is the number one priority for the people of Eastriggs.  I will be urging SWESTRANS to submit the case  to Transport Scotland as if a new station becomes a reality it will the largest single factor in opening up economic, educational and social opportunities for the people of Eastriggs and surrounding area.”

Jack Praises Oyster Festival

The third Stranraer Oyster Festival took place September 13-15th 2019, Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack has praised the organisers on 'a job well done.'

The Scottish Secretary and his wife Ann enjoyed the event, which attracted thousands of visitors to the town and wider area.

He said: "It has provided a feast of culinary expertise and highlighted some of the best of our local seafood.

"Many visitors I met were certainly impressed and indicated that they may return to see more of the area in the future.  

"I'm sure this niche event will go from strength to strength and importantly is helping keep Stranraer on the map."

 Mr Jack added: "It is an inspiration to everyone working so hard to enhance the Stranraer waterfront and the town centre."

Alister Jack with Stranraer Development Trust Chairman Romano Pettrucci: AJ MEDIA RELEASE


Dumfries & Galloway EXPO 19 is coming!



If you do business or want to do business in Dumfries & Galloway EXPO 19 is for you.

There will be over 70 B2B exhibitors on hand from the private and public sectors to answer your questions about the services and support available to your business in Dumfries and Galloway.

There is a huge range available from accountants to web designers from banks to energy specialists and tourism to marketing. Any one of them maybe the connection that makes all the difference to your business.

Our masterclasses are as follows

  • 3.30pm Stewart Tait from Studio 105 - What Social media is right for my business?
  • 4.30pm Stewart Tait from Studio 105 - What content should I be sharing? How can I use video on social media?
  • 5pm Michael Nicholson from Botann and Output Communications - Using social media to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.
  • 5.30pm Scottish Development International - Brexit - What are the risks? What actions can I take? What support is available?

The whole day is free and is designed to provide practical help so you can find the support you need to grow or start your business in Dumfries & Galloway

Scotland’s business community set to gather for largest-ever Annual Scottish Business Address

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) will hold its flagship Annual Scottish Business Address event on 12th September 2019 at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, bringing together 460 industry leaders, representing 170 Scottish companies.

This year, the Business Keynote will be delivered by Jonathan Hinkles, Managing Director of Loganair, who will share his experience of transforming Loganair into the UK’s fifth largest airline.

The event will also include, for the first time, an exclusive ‘Conversation with Global Chamber Leaders.’ Hosted by Kaye Adams, the panel will feature Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of SCC; Francis Martin CBE, President of British Chambers of Commerce; and Chris Southworth, Secretary-General of the International Chambers of Commerce (UK). The panel is set to address global business topics including international trade, the cost of doing business and the future of work.

Tim Allen SCC PresidentCommenting ahead of the event, Tim Allan, President of SCC, said:

“This annual event brings together leaders from a wide range of companies and provides an unrivalled forum to connect with business leaders, talk about the economic challenges and opportunities, as well as a chance to celebrate our successes.

“I am delighted that Jonathan will be delivering the Business Keynote at our annual event. Under his leadership, Loganair has flown through significant change to become Scotland’s leading airline with an expanded fleet and more international destinations under his leadership.

“The ‘Conversation with Global Chamber Leaders’ comes at an important time in business. Their insight, expertise and world-view will enable greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Steve Smart, CGI’s Senior Vice President, Scotland, said:

“CGI is delighted to partner with SCC for this year’s Annual Scottish Business Address. The event is an important one in the calendar, providing a great opportunity for leaders to come together and our partnership is a proud demonstration of our ongoing commitment to Scotland’s business community. As one of the largest independent IT and business consulting firms in the world, this year’s event is of particular relevance to us. We look forward to an excellent evening with Scotland’s business community.”

Public Toilets Up For Discussion at Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee will meet on Tuesday 17 September and will receive an update report on the Public Convenience Service Review.

Our Council has 58 public toilets dotted around the region, with the service requiring to save just shy of £100,000 before 31 March 2021. These toilets are vital to communities and visitors and range from big facilities such as Whitesands in Dumfries to remote free-standing buildings in the likes of Monreith in Wigtownshire. The service has already made a £20,000 saving in line with budget requirements but this report will look at ways to make the additional £100k saving in the next 12 to 18 months.

Extensive consultation has been held over the last couple of months, with two dozen community conversations taking place throughout the region, as well as a customer survey, and employee survey and local business meetings all taking place to seek views and options on how the facilities can work more efficiently. Over a thousand people completed our survey, be it customer or staff, and more than 300 members of the public turned out at the community conversations.

Members will be asked to agree at the meeting on 17 September, that a ‘comfort scheme’ is developed, whereby local businesses would allow members of the public to use their premises toilet(s), in return for a small financial incentive. This would allow the running cost of the public convenience to be removed for the Council.

Members will also be asked to consider offering community groups a similar financial incentive to take over the cleaning of public conveniences in their area. Other options that will be considered as part of the report include mobile cleaning of facilities, something that’s already in place in Wigtownshire, as well as the closure of some of the facilities that our consultation has shown are not well used.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Communities Committee Chairman, Cllr Andy Ferguson commented;
“This report highlights the jaw-dropping savings that need to be made in relation to public toilets. Our consultation has shown us how much the community depend on the vast majority of these conveniences, and I am pleased to read in the report that there’s various options for my fellow Members to explore to try to meet these savings. I would like to say thank you to each person who took part in the consultation – without you we could not be furnished with your opinions to aid us make these difficult decisions.”

Vice Chairman Cllr John Martin echoed Andy’s comments;
“Our public conveniences are well used and those who fed back to us via our survey were please with the facilities in terms of cleanliness. This is positive news for our Council. However, the cuts of nearly £100,000 is going to mean difficult decisions. I would urge any business interested in signing up to the comfort scheme or any community willing to take on one of our facilities, to get in touch.”

See report: