A steering group has been set up to look into the possibility of a community buy-out of the old showfield in Wigtown.
A public meeting will be held tonight in the County Buildings, called by the newly formed Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative, to gauge interest in such a project.
A WBCI spokesman said: “The Showfield on Southfield Lane has stood empty and neglected for twenty five years. Wigtown & Bladnoch Community Initiative has been formed to regain community ownership of the Showfield. We feel that it would greatly enhance Wigtown.
“Initial ideas for the future use of the Showfield have included affordable housing and business units, an area for outdoor events with space for a marquee and grassy parking area, a community orchard and various projects.
Using Community Right to Buy legislation, we aim to register an interest in the Showfield, thus giving an opportunity to buy the land at market value if it becomes available for purchase. The Scottish Land Fund may provide up to 95% of the value of the land, with other sources making up the balance.
“Presently in Scotland 500,000 acres of land are owned and managed by communities. Currently there are 160 projects in Scotland, where communities such as our own are taking control of land in their localities. Examples of this in Dumfries and Galloway are the Mull of Galloway Trust and The Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society, both of which have control of land where they live.
“The public meeting will be a chance to hear from people who will explain the process and speakers from other communities explaining how they run land in their localities. We would like to invite everyone who lives in Wigtown and Bladnoch to hear how community ownership of the Showfield could benefit Wigtown once again.”