Development work to go ahead
£200m investment will bring benefits to Dumfries
A £200 million investment has been unveiled for Dumfries and Galloway that will deliver a range of projects including a university campus, an innovation centre and museum.
Jansons Property, an investor and developer which works in partnership with the William Pears Group, has teamed up with the Crichton Trust to deliver a series of projects which will include:-
- a purpose-built campus for the University of the West of Scotland
- a research and innovation centre for Dumfries.
- a museum to display artefacts from the Hunterian Museum, the Crichton Archives and the Dumfries and Galloway collection.
- 250 purpose-built student residences.
- a home for the National Centre for Resilience which will drive research into climatic, environmental events and emergency responses.
- the Let’s Get Sporty facility on the Crichton Estate which aims to develop young people by providing mentoring and employability skills while delivering localised community sporting activity
- two new grandstands and a business park at Queen of the South’s Palmerston Park.
Andy Jansons, managing director of Jansons Property, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Crichton Trust in taking forward this exciting development, and we will bring together the funding and expertise to deliver appropriate projects for the Crichton and the community of Dumfries and Galloway.”
Rob Shaw, chief executive of the Crichton Trust, said: “We are delighted and proud to announce the most compelling and tangible investment opportunity that Dumfries and Galloway region has had in living memory.
“We will deliver truly transformational investment and development in conjunction with Jansons Property and the William Pears Group and know we will be working with a partner who has a long-standing ethos of committing to projects that deliver public benefit.
“It is a very exciting day for Scotland and the Dumfries and Galloway region which will provide substantial benefit to the local community and creative sustainable well paid jobs at all levels.”
Jansons Property is committed to its initial investment and has signalled that further funds will be available to should further opportunities emerge.
Graham U’ren, chairman of the Crichton Trust Board, said: “Since its restructuring and the forging of new partnerships with the council and key stakeholders, the Trust has come a long way in the last 18 months towards re-establishing the momentum of 20 years ago in the regeneration of the estate and in fulfilling ambitious developments which will benefit the people of Dumfries and the whole of the region.
“We are proud that our executive team have been able to work with others to create an unprecedented opportunity for further significant developments at the Crichton and look forward to working with the investor/developer and stakeholders to realise these exciting ambitions over the coming years.”
John McGee, of The Crichton Trust, commented: “A major challenge for all rural or perceived remote regions is being able to attract mainstream investors and developers. We are thrilled that we have been able to attract an outstanding investor and this will be to the wider benefit of the region and Scotland.”
The Crichton site was bought by Dumfries and Galloway Council in 1995. Councillor Colin Smyth, chairman of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Crichton sub-committee said: “Following the council acquiring the Crichton, it has developed into a successful home for business and education.
“The council continues to invest significantly in the Crichton and the challenge now is take it to the next level so it really can become an engine room for the economy of Dumfries and Galloway.
“There are a lot of major projects we want to see come to fruition to ensure the Crichton fulfils its massive potential but in a way that preserves this historical site which is close to the hearts of the people of Dumfries and beyond. That will require significant investment of the scale being proposed and really could help deliver on our number one priority to build the local economy and create jobs and opportunities for local people.”