Welcome to the website for New Galloway Town Hall and Local Initiatives in New Galloway (LING).

July Update

Hello All,

We had hoped that we would be announcing that the Asset Transfer had at long last been achieved, as our pro-bono solicitor had just written to say everything was in place and D&G Council lawyers were happy to now sign off and complete the transfer. At the very same moment, Glynne spotted an outcrop of dry rot in the corner of the wall at the top of the staircase. A visit from Richardson and Starling has confirmed that is what it is. 

Needless to say we cannot take on the ownership of the building until this has been investigated and resolved. A lot has happened very fast in the past few days and a meeting and inspection by D&G council building control has already taken place. There is a beam above the staircase which is affected which makes the situation potentially dangerous. As a result the staircase will be closed off and the upper hall will be out of use because it would only have one emergency exit. 

A best case scenario is that D&G building control will direct the necessary remedial work to be instigated immediately at cost to the UK government. In parallel we would, with appropriate legal advice, write into the asset transfer agreement a clause that would commit the council to getting this work done at no cost to us. 

Even with a following wind, that will still cause delay sadly. Our next task after notifying you all as LING members, and many of you as Friends of the Town Hall, is to notify our grant funders who are waiting patiently for news of the asset transfer. We have already notified our Community Ownership Fund manager – that’s the big grant that we have been match-funding. 

I’m sure you will share our intense frustration and dismay at the situation in which we now find ourselves. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be writing the good-news-update, as I had hoped this month, but please be assured that we remain committed to the project and will keep you all informed of our progress. 

On the better news front, Youth Activities have also got going, with Olivia and Mary taking this on. Holiday schemes on Loch Ken in collaboration with CatStrand have got off to a flying start and activities in the Town Hall and this Monday in the park have also been well attended and enjoyed. 

Further collaborations with Catstrand involve family walks happening over the summer months in the Garroch Glen on the miles of footpaths LING volunteers have been clearing for so many years. This is all part of the GGLP funded activities which include clearing pathways, woodland walks and rescuing the Garroch Estate walled garden for community use. Information about these current walks is available through the Catstrand. Angie is a member of the planning group that will be thinking ahead to the autumn. As a final heart-warming note, LING has just been gifted £400 as proceeds from the Navrig plant sales. The treasurer will be banking this tomorrow. It feels like a lovely community contribution and a metaphorical sign of growth with a promise of future flowering!

Many thanks,

Ann Glaister , LING Secretary.

The Town Hall is situated in the heart of New Galloway in the beautiful Glenkens area of Dumfries and Galloway. It is still owned by Dumfries and Galloway Council, but is managed by LING (Local Initiatives in New Galloway). The Town Hall has a new lease of life and is proving its value to the local community by providing a venue for a wide range of community activities, from lunches to sports evenings, pot luck suppers, family bingo and concerts. Click Events to find out more about forthcoming and regular events.

Two halls are available for hire and there is a fully equipped kitchen. See Facilities, Cost of Hire, or contact us for more details. You will find booking forms and terms and conditions of hire there as well as a risk assessment for reference.

LING also manages two local outdoor spaces – the wonderful network of woodland paths around and beyond New Galloway golf course, and the old Garroch Estate Walled Garden.

If you want to get out and about in and around New Galloway, there are some wonderful walks of different lengths and degrees of challenge. From the main car park itself, there is a lovely three mile walk and just out beyond the golf course, there are lovely pathways to wander up, through the golf course woodlands. Great views from some higher vantage points. You can take a car along and there is parking available in a layby, or you can walk there from the golf course club house. Stay close to the lower edge, if you are skirting it, until you reach the little gate into the woodland.

There is now a path from there that links, via a brand new and rather beautiful bridge over the Knocknairling Burn, with Core Path number 177. More details including photographs coming soon.

A little further afield, you can find your way to the Garroch Estate.  Again, there are beautiful walks through acres of grounds though please note that some are out of use due to the damage done by gales earlier this year. Some are on farm vehicle tracks and others on woodland trails. The owner of the estate is pleased for people to enjoy the walks there, but please do be aware that this is a working farm and take great care not to alarm any animals. A group of volunteers is working to keep these pathways clear and well signposted. If you go on a Saturday morning, you might find a few of them at work. And, if you can offer a helping hand at all, they’ll be your friends for life.

On the Garroch Estate, there’s also a delightful old walled garden. It is in the process of restoration and you are welcome to browse and relax. Balm for the soul. It is being lovingly restored by volunteers from local communities. It’s open to the public to enjoy, so come and see the new rose walk, the flourishing vegetable plots, the fruit trees and enjoy the birdsong. There are sometimes events held there, like apple-pressing, so do look out for notices to see what you might be able to take part in. There is shelter available on wet days in the bothy, and there is now even a compost toilet for your convenience!

You can follow us on Facebook at Local Initiatives in New Galloway. Our purpose is to promote health and wellbeing in New Galloway and Kells Parish and the wider Glenkens. The initial focus was on saving the Town Hall from closure and resurrecting it to its central role in village life and it has been wonderful to see people using and enjoying the venue again. Click Events to find out more. If you would like to become a member of LING (which is free) please email newgallowaytownhall@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you. Membership means we can keep you in touch with what is happening from time to time and, if you are interested in finding out more, perhaps even helping in someway occasionally, then it’s a good way of making contact.

Bob Glaister, Treasurer, presents the latest prize draw winner, with her £50 note.
Bob Glaister, Treasurer, presents the latest prize draw winner, with her £50 note.

As well as building a membership of LING, we invite our supporters to become ‘Friends of the Town Hall’ by signing up to pay £5 per month (£8 for a couple) by standing order. It helps enormously with our running costs and enables us to keep making small step-by-step improvements. Friends are invited to a summer wine and cheese event with an opportunity to review progress and are entered in a twice-yearly prize draw with a prize of £50. If you’d like to be a Friend of New Galloway Town Hall, again please contact us of newgallowaytownhall@gmail.com.

LING is a Scottish Charity (SC047553), based at Rathan House, High Street, New Galloway, DG7 3RL. You can find our formal LING documents – our trustees, constitution, annual reports, accounts, AGM minutes and our Board meeting minutes here.

LING has been supported by Dumfries and Galloway, The Glasgow Galloway Association, Glenkens Charity Shop, Architectural Heritage Foundation, Resilient Heritage, Awards for All, the Blackcraig Windfarm Community Trust Fund , the Hugh Fraser Foundation and Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership.