Day of the Region - Exchange Visit
Eight people from rural communities across Dumfries and Galloway have returned from a knowledge exchange visit to the Netherlands and Germany. The eight representatives accompanied by staff from the D&G LEADER Programme enjoyed hospitality, music, local food and culture as they explored how Day of the Region in other countries had been organised and had developed into a regional celebration.
The eight representatives accompanied by staff from the D&G LEADER Programme enjoyed hospitality, music, local food and culture as they explored how Day of the Region in other countries had been organised and had developed into a regional celebration.
The first ever Day of the Region to take place in the UK is happening in Dumfries and Galloway throughout 2011 and will culminate in a weekend of special events the first weekend in October 2011 that will link with Tag der Regionen celebrations in Germany and the Dag van de Regio initiative in the Netherlands.
This new initiative, being managed and co-ordinated by D&G LEADER aims to increase well-being across Dumfries and Galloway, to encourage everyone to get to know others in their community better, explore what's on their doorstep and create a greater sense of pride in their own regional identity.
The aim of the visit was for the representatives of the five pilot Day of the Region locations in Dumfries and Galloway; Crocketford, Gatehouse of Fleet, Glenkens, Castle Douglas and Creetown to engage and learn from event organisers in other European towns on how they set up activities which explore regional identity and to strengthen links with partners which could see Day of the Region being extended across Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and Europe in future years.
Alan Murray represented the Castle Douglas community on the visit and commented: "The trip to the Netherlands and Germany, was definitely worthwhile. I believe that the Day of the Region may just be the catalyst that will bring our communities in Dumfries and Galloway closer. There appears to be a lot of untapped talent in our community, talent which could be used to benefit others and I am excited to be involved in the first ever Day of the Region initiative in the UK."
The community representatives also hoped to pick up some ideas which they could develop on returning to their community groups in Dumfries and Galloway to work on their Day of the Region activities for 2011.
Ken Smyth, who represented Gatehouse of Fleet said " the Day of the Region initiative is even more fascinating as it may eventually become a European wide celebration of the individuality of regions and communities. The visit to the Netherlands and Germany provided a useful comparison of the slightly different approaches the two countries take, and I can see that here in Scotland we will be looking to incorporate ideas from both. The initiative provides an opportunity to celebrate the strengths of our local communities across a wide range of activities, and to do so for both visitors, and within the region to build a pride in what we have to offer and to enhance community spirit. Following the visit we are now enthused about the Day of the Region being developed for our communities here in Dumfries and Galloway and are keen to get representatives from various sectors involved in making the first ever Day of the Region initiative a success!"
Caption for Picture: Community representatives from the region visit a Day of the Region location in Germany along with D&G LEADER Staff and representatives from with Tag der Regionen in Germany and the Dag van de Regio in the Netherlands.
For further information on the Day of the Region initiative, please contact