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South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has expressed concerns about the plans by Dumfries and Galloway Council to close Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and relocate its functions to Council buildings in Buccleuch Street.
Ms McAlpine said:
“Gracefield is a nationally significant gallery with a track record of delivering high quality exhibitions. It has an enviable permanent collection, ample parking and it’s fully accessible for people with mobility difficulties. It’s difficult to see how this could be replicated in the municipal buildings in Buccleuch Street.
“Reports said that the Council expect such a move to cost £8.5million but to generate savings of only £335-£450,000 per year. So they’re proposing to spend millions in order to save thousands. This, combined with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s less than stellar track record on the management of assets, particularly the debacle of DGOne, highlights that the proposed move should be fully explored with the artists, craft workers, community organisations and audience groups who use these important facilities before any decision is made.”
Ms McAlpine said she was contacting groups affected by the proposed move to offer support.