MSP Joan McAlpine has urged the local Council to get behind the new Scottish National Resilience Centre for Dumfries and Galloway.
Ms McAlpine said the showcase project would make the region a centre of excellence for resilience planning and was already attracting attention from the rest of the UK and Europe.
During a visit to Dumfries to discuss plans for the project at the end of September, environment minister Aileen McLeod said they were “well on track” to open the centre in March.
During the early stages of Police Scotland’s set up, Ms McAlpine lobbied for a centre of excellence to be located in the region, and was ‘delighted’ when the Scottish Government announced plans for the centre to be situated at the Crichton Campus.
However she said she was dismayed to read negative comments from the Labour led Council who said the centre was taking too long to set up.
Commenting, the SNP MSP said:
“When you are trying to construct something world-leading it doesn’t happen overnight.
“Dumfries and Galloway council haven’t even started repairs to DGOne a year after it closed so they are hardly in a position to criticise!
“The point of the national centre is to have a hub that others in Scotland and beyond can utilise in terms of coping with disaster situations such as severe flooding.
“Centres like this attract visitors for training, conferences and events – that in itself will be a boost for business in Dumfries, even if the core staffing of the centre itself is small to start with.
“Let’s ditch the negativity and start shouting about what is a really positive story for the region
“We got the centre because of the expertise the area has built up in water rescue, animal rescue, flooding and of course the legacy of the Lockerbie tragedy. We are well placed to advise others how to cope because we have the proven experience and expertise, that’s why the Scottish Government chose to put the national centre here.”
“It will also be a boost to the Crichton which of course the SNP rescued a number of years ago and which has gone from strength to strength with growing student numbers in the years since.”