Initiative group eye up bank

The Bank of Scotland building in Wigtown
The Bank of Scotland building in Wigtown

As well as registering an interest in the old showfield, the Wigtown & Bladnoch Community Initiative now want to take over the bank building in the county town.

A spokesperson for the Initiative group said: “We see an exciting opportunity to take over the Bank of Scotland building after the bank closes in the autumn. We will have a public meeting about this at 7.00 pm on Monday, August 21st, in the County Buildings.

“The Mull of Galloway Trust in the Rhins took community ownership of 30 acres at the Mull in 2013. Neilston Development Trust in East Renfrewshire made a hub for community development activity from the former Clydesdale Bank in their town. Please come and hear about community asset projects and tell us what you think about the Bank building - could we use a credit union, flexible office space, youth activity and learning space, IT training facilities? Help us decide what’s needed, and what else we can do, to help the communities of Bladnoch and Wigtown.

“We hope to know soon about a Rural Housing Fund grant to let us work with the Dumfries & Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust to complete an assessment of housing needs for the area. This will tell us what sort of housing is needed – amenity housing for the elderly, affordable housing for young people wanting to remain in the area they grew up in, housing for young families, and so on. Armed with this information, the Initiative will start looking for suitable sites, like the Old Showfield, the disused flats above the Bank of Scotland, and other areas central to the town, to make a difference for the people of Wigtown and Bladnoch.”

The old showfield, Southfield Park, has been unused since the Agricultural Society moved Wigtown Show out of town after 1992, except as a cut through from Harbour Road and Seaview, and a dog walking area.

The Initiative can use the right to buy only if the current landowner, 3b Construction, puts the land up for sale.

The construction company have their own development plans for the land.