NSI open community shop

NSI coordinator David Mitchinson outside the new community shop in Newton Stewart's Dashwood Square
NSI coordinator David Mitchinson outside the new community shop in Newton Stewart's Dashwood Square

Newton Stewart Initiative are delighted to be able to announce that its community shop will open at 10am on Saturday, September 2, and will be officially opened the following Saturday by MSP Finlay Carson.

This venture has evolved from the success of NSI’s regular craft events, the Mayfayre and Winterfayre and its swap shop events.

A spokesperson for NSI said: “We have to extend our thanks to Dumfries & Galloway Council for putting faith in our latest project by agreeing to a Management Agreement on the old Tourist Information Centre and to thank Norman Furnishings for their support with the flooring. The refurbishment and renewed use of this vacant building in a prominent area of Newton Stewart is a positive move for all in the community.

“The shop will officially be opened by Finlay Carson MP on Saturday 9th September as part of the Day of the Region celebrations taking place in the area surrounding the building.

This is a project that we hope the whole community will get behind, donating and buying goods, clothes, bric-a-bac, and items such as cakes, vegetables, jams etc.

“Within the shop we will also have areas for a small Tourist Information Point and for local crafters to display and sell their goods. We hope to build on the number of crafters attached to the shop as the profile of the shop builds.

“Success in this project will support Newton Stewart Initiative’s other projects and in the future benefit other areas of the community, potentially through a Community Fund.

“Initially the shop will be run by volunteers from the NSI membership and other interested parties, but we do have the long-term aim of having staff employed to manage and operate the outlet. Anyone who would be willing to volunteer some of their time should contact our incoming Project Coordinator Dave Mitchinson on 07780352156 or info@newtonstewartinitiative.net.”

The community shop will be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.

Six members of Newton Stewart Initiative Executive Committee met recently at the Creebridge House Hotel.

NSI and the Cree Valley Community Council have a meeting in September to finalise and agree arrangements for the Christmas Lights switch-on following the Winterfayre.

The NSI treasurer reported on the current balances of the Newton Stewart Centre, the Community Shop, the Community Centre, the Douglas Park project, General funds and Fundraising along with balances for the Mayfayre/Winterfayre and Mini Projects.

Work is required to repair an exterior wall at the Newton Stewart Centre and approval was given to the contractor whom supplied quote. The NSI Project Co-ordinator suggested he would like to create a list of local suppliers, from the various trades in the town, whom are willing and able to carry out work for the NSI.

The fundraising committee reported that the judging of the NSI Calendar competition will take place on 4th September, 7pm at NSC. The Sainsbury’s Information sessions have been successful and good links between the NSI and Sainsbury’s are being forged. A lot of interest was raised at the first information day and a number of new ordinary members came forward. More calls were made for the Easyfundraising website and details have be included in the information to posted in Sainsbury’s.

The Douglas Park Committee informed the meeting that an extension from LEADER has been granted to allow NSI to fully support and submit information for the LEADER funding application.

As the NSI community shop is now open, the local annual charity Christmas Card Shop, which has previously been hosted in the Tourist Information Centre, will not be abole to use the building now. The in-coming project co-ordinator is meeting with various potential outlets to see if an alternative venue can be arranged.

Regarding a community facility, following consultation with the community, representatives met with ARPL at the old community centre to view the facility, and it looks increasingly likely that the facility is not fit for purpose and cannot be considered due to restrictions at the site. ARPL are to come back with comparisons of the remaining sites and their positives which should help the Executive make a decision again following consultation with the wider community. A meeting is to be arranged to discuss the full findings of the report.

Recruitment to the executive committee is to be promoted at a cheese and wine social event at the NSC on Friday 29th September at 7.30pm to promote joining the executive committee to the NSI members.

In any other business, it was announced that CVCC had bought 30 tables for community use. Publicity relating to their use is to be distributed in due course.

As there was no other business, the meeting was closed.