May 2019


Welcome to the May Newsletter

First of all a sincere apology for the gap in sending out a newsletter.  Things moved along very quickly at the end of January and then we were straight into planning mode.  We have some very significant news and it is all steam ahead with 21 North Main Street.

In this edition of the newsletter:

  • Planning Application for 21 North Main Street
  • GoFundMe initiative update

Planning Application

We successfully completed the purchase of 21 North Main Street, Wigtown at the end of January and went straight to work with the architects to finalise the plans ready for submission to Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The plans have now been lodged with the council and are available to view and comment on the Council's website at: 

What is proposed for the former bank building:
Photo of 21 North Main Street with sign in the window

The following section lists the services and activities which we will provide from the former Bank:
The Book Town Bunkhouse
The Book Town Bunkhouse will comprise one 8 bed mixed dorm and one private double bedroom as well as basic kitchen facilities and a shared ‘Living Room’ area. This social space will be used by visitors staying at the Bunkhouse. There will be a wet room with shower, toilet and hand basin and a seperate rest room with a toilet and handbasin. Sleeping 10 people, the Book Town Bunkhouse will complement the existing accommodation available in Wigtown. Primarily catering to walkers and cyclists, the bunkhouse will serve the lower end of the market – providing simple, but high quality accommodation, at a low price. As the bunkhouse will be small, we do not anticipate any displacement from existing businesses. 

Community Garden
There is a large garden to the rear of the property (536m2) which is currently tended by a local person. Local community research suggested that there would be appetite for turning the space into a community garden and allotments. W&BCI are hoping to partner with local garden groups to manage the space with the possibility of developing community "editable gardens". We plan to hold a public meeting towards the end of August 2019 to look at the best use of the garden space for the community.
Affordable Housing
The housing needs analysis undertaken by Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust (DGSCHT) established a need for more affordable housing in the area. As a result, the former bank will be converted into two affordable homes. The two upper floors will become a three bedroom family flat, and the ground floor space to the rear of the building will become an accessible one bedroom flat.  These properties will be available at local social rent levels – which are currently £302/month for a one bedroom flat and £398/month for a three bedroom flat. These prices are benchmarked to charges made by Loreburn Housing – one of the main Registered Social Landlords in Dumfries and Galloway - and are indicative of rates at the itme of writing.  The initial rates will be determined by the relevent local rates when the properties are available to the rental market.  With the support of DGSCHT we will establish an allocation policy, and set up the relevant procedures for managing tenancies. One named member of the board will act as the landlord and be the emergency contact for repairs and maintenance.

GoFundMe to raise 5% of purchase price

Go Fund Me AccountThe GoFundMe account set up to raise the balance of the purchase price is still open and thanks to the generosity of many people we have raised over £1,000 towards the target.  We also had a number of people deliver their donations directly to the Initiative and this ensured that we were able to complete the purchase in January.

Please donate to support us and pass on the link below via Social Media, email or whatever means you can think of to encourage others to do the same.


Thank you for supporting the Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative.

Find Out More by visiting our Website
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