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February 6, 2019

Sold to the highest bidder

Pension funds hold vast portfolios of commercial property. Their primary interest is the book value of these portfolios which often bears no relation to market values  – often with the result of pricing locals out of the market. A community bid in Dumfries to purchase some very run down property in the High Street was looking hopeful until the pension fund in question took fright and thought they could get a better price by putting it to auction. At very short notice, and after crowdfunding some cash, the team from Dumfries set off for the Big Smoke.

Midsteeple Quarter

The auction was held on Tuesday 5th Feb. Below is the tweet from the Midsteeple Quarter team after Lot 74 – their High Street –  came up for bidding. The team had raised £15,000+ from a crowdfunding initiative in the days beforehand…..


Dunno what just happened – we got well and truly gubbed… the winning bid was £140,000 – we were nowhere near that. Sorry guys, we gave it everything and do did everyone that supported us #Scunnered #ReclaimTheHighStreet


In the big picture our aim was to support new approaches to our High Street. If someone else is bringing investment and believes in Dumfries – then that is to be warmly welcomed. We’re ready to work together and share our vision with anyone. #MakingDumfries

There is something a bit unsavoury about a community’s High Street being put up for auction in a fancy hotel in Knightsbridge. We can only hope that the new owner isn’t going to sit on the property and do nothing – as the pension fund did for so many years. If that is what happens, perhaps the new Compulsory Sale Orders will have become a device that communities can take advantage of .

Great effort, Midsteeple Quarter. Keep it going.