A new Galloway National Park would not only pay for itself but bring prosperity to surrounding towns and villages and beyond.
That was the clear message given to the Scottish Government’s countryside minister when she met the local team pushing for the region to be just the third in Scotland to be given park status.
At Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment met with representatives of the Galloway National Park Association, Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership.
She was keeping a promise made in January to maintain a dialogue about a potential Galloway National Park.
She was presented with a new report “Galloway National Park – It’s our time”. prepared by the association setting out its case and calling on a full feasibility study to be carried out.
Dame Barbara Kelly of Association said: “There is plenty of evidence from elsewhere of the economic stimulus that National Parks provide.
“The taxrevenue that this would generate should easily cover the cost of running a national park.
“But we accept that Government will want to be satisfied that the investment required really will pay off,” she added.
Pupils of Douglas Ewart High School delivered a short and impressive presentation on why they believe a National Park is right for Galloway.
Thiswas supported by a recordedPowerPoint presentation by pupils from Castle Douglas High School who were unable to attend but were determined to add their voice.
The Minister promised to give the report her “fullest consideration.”