Recipe for Success: Ideas Needed for Regenerating Midsteeple Quarter, Dumfries

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The Stove Network and the Glasgow Institute of Architects has launched a competition looking for concepts to stimulate debate on the regeneration of the Midsteeple Quarter in Dumfries.

The story of Dumfries High Street is not a new story – it’s a market town without a market, it has high vacancy rates, absent landlords, deteriorating buildings and only one resident living above the shops.

Inspiring Open Day

The competition invites new and challenging ideas for the life of the high street to help inspire the residents of Dumfries, and to contribute to the national debate on the future of our town centres and high streets.

The competition is open to architects, landscape architects, urban designers and any other related discipline, as individuals, practices or as part of a team from across the UK. Entries are restricted to the UK as the organisers hope that entrants will join them at an open day in Dumfries on the 22 April 2017 . There will be presentations and tours to help entrants understand the context. The competition is not open to students.

Proving ideas

The competition sits alongside a series of community-generated ideas that have grown out of the programme delivered by The Stove Network, who are based in a refurbished building on the high street. Opposite this building is The Midsteeple Quarter, a vacant urban block, and the Stove Network are in discussions about acquiring one of the units, known as The Bakers Oven. This unit will be developed into an incubator space with the University of the West of Scotland with the idea of growing local talent and occupying the other units over time.

Festival collaborations

The collaboration grew out of the 2016 Festival of Architecture when the Stove Network used the GIA’s travelling pavilion EOLAS to hold a public workshop to discuss what would bring more people to Dumfries.

Speaking about the collaboration on behalf of the GIA, Sam Patterson said, “Deciding to work together on this competition was easy. The Stove Network are a passionate group of people who want to bring about positive change in their town, they are using the arts as a process of engagement and revitalisation.”

Stalled Spaces Scotland

Stalled Spaces Scotland aims to encourage and support communities to bring stalled spaces or derelict and vacant land back into temporary use.

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