This page features information on the SURF Alliance for Action programme site of Langholm in Dumfries & Galloway.


To maximise productive value from its Alliance for Action programme, SURF seeks to ensure that there is a balanced portfolio of places in the programme. This selected range of contacts is intended to provide transferable lessons to comparable settings and activities in the rest of Scotland, from high-density city neighbourhoods to small island towns.

Langholm is one of six areas in SURF’s Alliance for Action for 2017-18

In 2017, SURF and the Scottish Government agreed that the programme could benefit from the addition of a semi-rural site in the south of Scotland.

Subsequent conversations between SURF and Dumfries & Galloway Council indicated that the small town of Langholm in the east of its region might present a good opportunity for SURF to explore opportunities for responding to contemporary post-industrial challenges in a relatively isolated, rural town context.

SURF agreed to undertake a six month feasibility study in Langholm, between September 2017 and March 2018, to explore its regeneration-related challenges and opportunities, and the suitability for introducing the Alliance for Action model there.

2017-18 Feasibility Study

SURF’s Alliance for Action feasibility study in Langholm had five stages:

Stage 1 – Project Scoping: including work planning, information gathering, initial stakeholder engagements and a public workshop event.

Stage 2 – Research: further exploring the local context, including through the production of a statistical profile and a review of current and proposed local projects.

Comment postcards were among the channels used by SURF to gather local views

Stage 3 – Developing Alliance Options: engaging further with local stakeholders to investigate Alliance for Action model viability and opportunities.

Stage 4 – Report and Recommendations: testing Alliance for Action development options with potential users, clarifying deliverability and presenting a draft report to local stakeholders.

Stage 5 – Completion: establishing a process for delivering an Alliance for Action strategy in Langholm, pending stakeholder and partner agreement.

A detailed feasibility study plan is available for download:

SURF Alliance for Action Langholm Feasibility Study Plan

November 2017 Public Gathering

As part of the above process, SURF organised a public event in Langholm’s Buccleuch Centre on the evening of 23 November 2017 to conclude Stage 1 of the feasibility study.

Langholm residents were invited to a public event in November 2017

Thirty participants representing community groups, businesses and public agencies were in attendance to hear explanatory information from SURF and to contribute their views on the town’s regeneration challenges and opportunities, and the potential of Langholm becoming part of SURF’s Alliance for Action programme.

The main subjects raised in open debate concerned:

  • Langholm’s economy;
  • Opportunities for promoting tourism;
  • The town’s relationship with Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Cumbria;
  • Land ownership and use;
  • Transport;
  • Housing and infrastructure;
  • Community empowerment;
  • The role SURF might play in supporting the town’s future development.

An outcomes report from this event is available for download:

SURF Event Report – Langholm Alliance for Action – Nov 2017

Feasibility Study – Final Report

The Langholm feasibility study process concluded in May 2018. A final report was presented to local stakeholders in a public meeting in the Buccleuch Centre and is available for download at the following link:

SURF Langholm Alliance for Action Feasibility Study – Final Report

Land, housing and tourism were identified in the feasibility study as key local issues

The feasibility study recommended that Langholm would benefit practically from becoming a full Alliance for Action site for the 2018-21 programme period.

2018-22: Local Facilitation

The response to the feasibility study indicated widespread local demand for Langholm to become the fifth Alliance for Action programme area.

In Autumn 2018, SURF appointed Peter Renwick as its part-time Langholm Facilitator to support local development activity. Peter, who has a background in project management, arts programming, town centre development and tourism marketing, was in position until August 2021.

The current Langholm Facilitator, Mairi Telford-Jammeh, was appointed in September 2021. Mairi’s previous roles include Partnership Officer in Dumfries & Galloway Council. The support Mairi is providing to local stakeholders is informed by the outcomes of the feasibility study, and additional stakeholder consultations in summer 2021, which identified tourism and the town centre as priority development areas.

2020-30: Langholm Community Action Plan

SURF and the Scottish Community Development Centre supported local community groups to undertake two years of research and consultation and produce a Langholm Community Action Plan. The Plan builds on themes explored in SURF’s feasibility study, and sets out the community’s goals over 2020-30 in areas includiing infrastructure, heritage, tourism and health. It was launched in November 2019. SURF is working closely with the Langholm Alliance and other stakeholders on progress towards priorities in tourism and town centre development.

Langholm Town Centre Improvement Fund

Langholm Town Centre Improvement Scheme aims to support shop owners and business premises by providing 50% match funding to make improvements to commercial property frontages. The Scheme will encourage the emergence of quality shopfront design throughout Langholm, and the use of traditional and attractive design principles, components, and materials to create appealing, characterful, contemporary streets.

Support is available to business premises located within Langholm, and priority will be given to businesses facing onto the High Street, although this does not in itself guarantee an award of funding. The Scheme is funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and administered by SURF on behalf of a steering group with representatives of the Community Council, Regeneration Group and D&G Council.

For further details please see the guidance document or contact Mairi at:

Local Mailing List

SURF operates a Langholm stakeholders mailing list, providing regular activity updates on local Alliance for Action programme developments. Subscribers will receive updates around once a month and can unsubscribe at any time by clicking a link in the email.

If you would like to be added to this mailing list, please sign up here.

Further Information

Please contact SURF’s Langholm Facilitator, Mairi Telford-Jammeh, if you have any comments or queries about SURF’s Alliance for Action in Langholm:

For information on other SURF Alliance for Action sites, please click on the left hand menu bar links under Resources > Programmes > Alliance for Action.

Share →

Stay Informed

Sign up to the SURF e-newsletter to receive regular updates on SURF events, publications and activities. Emails are sent approximately once per month, and you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.

Creative Scotland
Glasgow City Council
Historic Environment Scotland
Museums Galleries Scotland
Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Scottish Gad
Scottish Government
Skills Development Scotland
Wheatley Group