Dumfries town centre vision could become national template
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has said plans to revitalise Dumfries town centre could become a template for other parts of the country.
He was in the town to launch a national competition for designers to develop a new architectural vision for the area.
Entrants will be invited to submit their ideas for the Midsteeple Quarter.
Mr Stewart said there were "interesting things" going on across the country and ideas like those being used in Dumfries could be extended elsewhere.
The competition has been organised by the community-led Stove Network in collaboration with the Glasgow Institute of Architects.
The minister said he had met with them before to discuss their plans.
"I have been really impressed with their vision for Dumfries and what they are doing is a really good example of community-led regeneration which I am very, very keen to encourage," he said.
"I would urge all of the agencies in Dumfries and Galloway - including the council here - to get behind this community-led regeneration to make their vision a reality for Dumfries town centre."
He said it was an example of different approaches being tried across Scotland.
"Town centres are changing - we have a situation where a lot more shopping is being done online nowadays," he said.
"So we need to think differently in town centres, and that is why it is important that we have organisations like the Stove Network who are thinking differently.
"They have got a great vision which hopefully will see major differences to Dumfries town centre - it may become a template for other places."
Prizes will be awarded for the top three designs in the competition and their work will be exhibited in Dumfries and Glasgow during the summer.
The Stove Network wants to see more buildings brought under local control and create new housing and services on the High Street.