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Midsteeple Quarter

Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Dumfries High Street Ltd

Restoring 115 to 117 High Street

Category B + Unlisted in Conservation Area

Midsteeple Quarter is located in the centre of Dumfries and covers a block of the original medieval town plan with main building frontages onto the High Street. The Quarter contains a number of listed buildings and historic closes, although a lot of these routes have been blocked up over the years. Many of the buildings are in poor condition. Over a period of several decades, mainstream market retail and related commercial property market dynamics have led to vacant ground-floor units and unused upper floors with consequential negative impacts on the town centre vibrancy and viability. Taking on the ownership, along with repair and reuse of these buildings, will be key to the regeneration of the wider town centre.

115 – 117 High Street are two conjoined early 19th-century three-storey buildings with shops at ground floor and long, narrow single storey workshop buildings to the rear. The pend to the side of the building has a brick interior and incorporates some earlier rubble walling. Midsteeple Quarter acquired them in early 2020. 109 High Street is a prominent neo-Tudor, three-storey tenement with attics and basements, designed and built (for his own use) by renowned Dumfries Architect, Walter Newall, in 1827-8. The ground floor has a usable shop unit, but the upper floors are in poor condition having been abandoned and are lacking maintenance. It is currently in private ownership.

Midsteeple Quarter is a Community Benefit Society breathing new life into Dumfries town centre by redeveloping empty High Street properties to create a new neighbourhood, with a mix of uses built on principles of local prosperity and wellbeing. The core project of Midsteeple Quarter is to enable the community of Dumfries to take the lead in the ownership and re-development of an entire block in the heart of the town. The project will create over 60 new homes and 50 new commercial spaces in a new neighbourhood, sheltered within a town block, which will become home to in the region of 200 people.

Two different AHF grants have supported the overall Midsteeple Project in different ways to date – an initial grant for the unlisted 113-117 High Street buildings, kindly given from the William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund, supported the capital costs involved in making immediate internal and external repairs to the buildings. This allowed for meanwhile and pop-up uses as a community enterprise Remakery Shop and tool library. A separate Project Viability Grant for 109 High Street supported a detailed feasibility study which will now support the fundraising for its acquisition. This includes a detailed business appraisal of proposed demand for residential use on the upper floors and non-residential use on the ground floor.

AHF Funding 

Project Development Grant - £10,000 (2020)

Project Viability Grant - £10,000 (2020)

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