Dumfries: from town to city?

Report by James Mahon

Local councillors in Dumfries are voting on whether to submit an application for the town to be put forward for city status in 2022.

The opportunity has come about as part of the Queen's jubilee celebrations.


The campaign for city status has been led by local businessman Mark Jardine.

He said: "Coming out of this pandemic, it is important we grasp this opportunity, every town and city has suffered, this is an opportunity to move forward."

Dumfries was founded more than 800 years ago and now has a population greater than Scotland's smallest city Perth. Some local politicians are hopeful the bid will receive a majority vote from the council's 43 members.

Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale Tracy Little said: "Once you get past the central belt, all major signs say south and Carlisle, because Carlisle is the first major city, same when you are coming North, they scootch right past us."MSP for South Scotland Emma Harper has also thrown her support behind the campaign.

She said: "I was interested in looking at how city status benefitted Stirling, Inverness and Perth, we have seen how city status benefited them socially, economically and culturally.

Oliver Mundell

However Oliver Mundell, MSP for Dumfriesshire, is against the move and believes focussing on the region rather than one town should be the priority.He said: "I think this is more about changing the name boards on the way into the town, for me by making Dumfries a city will take away from what makes it special and unique, friendly close knight community rather than focusing on city status"If the vote passes, a committee of community leaders will be set up to support the application which is due by December 8th.