The New Galloway “Save Our Shop” campaign has reached and exceeded its £20,000 target as its community share offer closed last week.
Setting their sights high in the “smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland”, the team behind the community share offer has secured their long-term plan to create new tourism accommodation and revitalise their village shop, raising a final £26,000 from residents and friends of the community to release the £808,000 secured from the Big Lottery ‘Growing Community Assets’ fund.
Local school-children at Kells Primary school in New Galloway, who have been involved with the project from the earliest stages, celebrated the purchase of shares in New Galloway Community Enterprises Ltd by the Kells Parent Council.
Mrs Muir, Principle Teacher for Kells School, said, “We are delighted that the children have been involved in this project from the very beginning, as we always encourage close ties between the school and the community.”
Helen Keron, project manager for New Galloway Community Enterprises Ltd, said: “Our overall aim is to make our community sustainable and that means including everyone in the process. The pupils of Kells School have been amazing and really engaged with the project, from designing shop logos to brainstorming what the shop should stock to performing at a community show for us. Their creativity and enthusiasm is a credit to the school and their families.”
Helen added: “Another main strand of our project is to create the role of a Community Engagement Officer to support people and businesses in New Galloway thus ensuring a secure and viable future. New Galloway already has a lot of community spirit and this Share Offer and Community Shop project has really brought this to the front – its great to see people so excited about the future of our community.”
Sandra Macaskill, Community Shares Scotland programme officer, said: “We are delighted to see this great community shares story unfold, helping make their community regeneration ambition of creating a community engagement officer role a reality. This new job will bring real support, assistance and encouragement to the community as plans get under way and into the foreseeable future.“