Finalists announced in Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards

The Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards Steering Group welcomed Dr Jessica Sellick, Artur Steiner, Iain Maddox, Jim Hume and Alice Mayne to the region to judge the 2019 Awards. Representing the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards Steering Group were; Cathy Agnew, Sharon Glendinning, Jenny Wilson, Ellen Grant, Nicola Hill and Peter Ross.  Picture at The Cally Palace Hotel & Golf Course near Gatehouse of Fleet. (Photo Credit: Mike Bolam)
Hannah Downey

There is much excitement in Dumfries & Galloway this month, as the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Programme recognise and prepare to celebrate the achievements of local projects funded by the 2014 - 2020 LEADER Programme Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Following the launch of the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards in June, 15 shortlisted projects were recently invited to enter the next stage of the awards process and to host a visit from an independent judge. These visits took place across the region on the 26th and 27th August, leaving judges full of admiration for the work going on in every corner of Dumfries & Galloway.

Fifteen finalists can now look forward to the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards event which will take place at GG’s Yard, a rural venue of excellence, near Gatehouse of Fleet on Thursday 5th December 2019.  Although this event will celebrate the achievements of so many people, projects, organisations and communities, only five of them will go home clutching an award on the night.

Finalists  - Rural Entrepreneurship Award: Senwick Alpacas in Borgue, Crafty Galloway in Newton Stewart and The Walled Garden at Arkleton.

Finalists  - Natural Environment Award: Keir, Penpont and Tynron Development Trust, Loch Ken Eco Bothies Dome Home and The River Annan Trust.

Finalists  - Rural Resilience Award: The Whithorn Trust Iron Age Roundhouse, Connecting in Communities, New Galloway and Hold The Front Page in Langholm.

Finalists  - Coastal and Fisheries Community Award: Solway Firth Partnership’s Coastwise Project, Stranraer Millennium Centre Community Trust and the Wigtown Bay Skiff Project.

Finalists  - Inclusive Communities Award: Visibility, Year of Young People Dumfries & Galloway and the Port William Community Development Trust.

Nicola Hill, LEADER Programme Manager in Dumfries & Galloway was proud to welcome Dr Jessica Sellick, Alice Mayne, Artur Steiner, Iain Maddox and Jim Hume to the region and is grateful to them for taking responsibility for judging the awards in 2019.  She said: “We are very fortunate to have the support of the judges who willingly gave up their time to be an independent judge for us this year. They certainly had the expertise and knowledge to take on this important role and they left with a real appreciation of the challenges facing small rural communities.  They were impressed by the number, scale and impact of the projects we have funded and admire the dedication of those working in our local communities. We are all so very proud of the people involved in leading and delivering successful projects in Dumfries & Galloway and we look forward to celebrating their achievements in December at GG’s Yard.”

Given the significant impact of LEADER funding in Dumfries & Galloway over the years, two additional awards have also been introduced for 2019; the Legacy Award and the Shining Light Award. These awards will formally recognise the long-term success of LEADER funded projects and acknowledge the outstanding contribution of individuals within our communities.

Keep up to date with news about the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Programme and the Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Rural Awards at  and on social media. #DGLEADERRuralAwards19