Midsteeple Quarter, which hopes to regenerate the town’s flagging centre by attracting local businesses and residents to return to the townRead more at: https://www.scotsman.com/regions/dumfries-borders/tuesday-deadline-for-dumfries-high-street-buyout-1-4866686, tried to buy the former retail premises - but was told it would go to the open market.
The property was subsequently bought by a developer for £142,000, but was put up for sale again when the sale fell through. A second auction is set to be held later this month - with a guide price of £145,000.
Midsteeple Quarter chair Scott Mackay said: “After the first auction, we were hopeful that we would be able to work with the new owner. When we learned that they had not viewed the properties prior to buying them and decided to try and sell them on after discovering they had paid over the odds for very dilapidated buildings, we made contact and offered a negotiation to agree a price with them.
"We were disappointed to receive no response at all and are now forced back into another public game of Monopoly with all comers.”
The Midsteeple Quarter project has so far been successful in gaining ownership of one of the eight properties within its area and will start extensive re-development work in 2020. Theproject is in receipt of support for the Scottish Land Fund towards securing ownership of a further two properties, but was not able to complete the funding by the time of the original auction in February. More than 400 people contributed to a public crowdfunding campaign that raised £23,000 prior to the auction, contributing to the bid that the project was able to make. They The group said it would also continue to explore options to strengthen their hand in the process through negotiations with the Local Authority and Scottish Government.
Last month, Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, described the project as a "a trailblazing approach".Read more: Tuesday deadline for Dumfries high street buyout