Other Events

Author launches online crime fiction course

Crime novelist and creative writing tutor John Dean, who is based in Dumfries and Galloway, has launched an online Crime Fiction Course.

Chamber member John, author of 16 novels and currently published by London-based The Book Folks, and the creator of DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris, also runs Inscribe Media Ltd, which is based near Castle Douglas.

The online course, which runs in eight parts and can begin at a time and date to suit the student, will help writers to improve their technique and improve their chances of being successful, either in competitions or admissions to publishers.

When they enrol, students will be offered ongoing one-to-one feedback on their work, be it short stories or novels.

John, who is a member of the UK-based Crime Writers’ Association, said: “Writing can be a lonely pastime and my aim is to help aspiring writers to improve their technique and improve their chances of being successful in a very competitive market.

“Crime fiction remains hugely popular and, hopefully, I can help aspiring writers to develop their ideas, and because it is online it does not matter where they live. In recent years, I have worked with writers from everywhere from Croatia to Australia and New Zealand.”

There is no official certificate of qualification at the end of the course, which will be led by John.

The course costs £75. For further details you can contact John at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Barista Training from the World Barista Champion!

Artisan coffee is a big thing at the moment - even the national coffee chains are focussing on coffee connoisseurs these days. Local Dumfries town centre coffee shop, Kings Coffee and Books, are using the skills learned from their barista trainer, Dale Harris, to offer coffee barista training courses in the new year. Dale recently became the 2017 World Barista Champion, by winning not only the UK championship, but also the global one held in Seoul, South Korea, last month.

Husband and wife team Mark and Helen Smith, who run Kings for the River of Life Church say, "We've been 'coffee geeks' from the beginning and we're proud of it! Dale has been regularly training our staff for the last six years and we owe a lot to him. Releasing our baristas to share those skills with ordinary people in our community will help more people enjoy the creative side of coffee - imagine being able to impress your friends by demonstrating your new skills by crafting the perfect cup of coffee!"

Would-be baristas can sign up for the Coffee Barista Taster Courses in Kings, 12 Queensberry Street, online at kingsonline.co.uk, or why not buy a voucher to pop in your favourite coffee geek's Christmas stocking, for a quirky gift, they wouldn't expect!

Attend the Visit South West Scotland AGM

Visit South West Scotland

Members for the AGM 10:30 for 11:00-  3:00 (inc lunch) 

Non-Members 12:30 – 3:00 (inc lunch)

Chairman Ian McAndrew and the rest of the VisitSouthWestScotland (VSWS) committee would like to invite you to now register for the Annual General Meeting & Networking event on Wednesday 15 November at Arden House Hotel, Kirkcudbright.

The day will include:

  • An insight into the progress of VisitSouthWestScotland.
  • A presentation from winners of the 2012 and 2014 Dumfries & Galloway Life Tourism Champion Awards, Mostly Ghostly.
  • An update from VisitScotland's Sheena Smith, Senior Regional Planning Manager, Content Marketing.
  • Lunch and networking

The event provides the perfect opportunity to network with fellow tourism businesses and to keep up to date with product development in Dumfries & Galloway tourism sector.


Heathrow Business Summit

Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network invite you to the Heathrow Business Summit on the 18th of October, in partnership with Heathrow.

The Heathrow Business Summit held in Edinburgh this October offers the unique opportunity for Edinburgh and Scottish SMEs to make key connections and trade face to face with Heathrow’s supply chain and seek out growth opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.

The Heathrow Business Summit on 18 October will give local businesses the chance to have free 15 minute face-to-face drop in appointments with Heathrow’s supply chain in a one day event taking place at Royal College of Surgeons from 10am – 4pm which includes refreshments for all guests.

Heathrow suppliers who will be available for appointment include ARUP, Amalga, Balfour Beatty, Fujitsu, Morgan Sindall, ThyssenKrupp and Siemans.

• The Heathrow Business Summits each provide a great platform for SMEs to get a foot in the door and capitalise on the business opportunities available at Heathrow
• Promote your business to Heathrow's supply chain through face-to-face appointments on the day
• Meet and network with exhibitor partners including the Local Council and Chamber of Commerce
• All exhibitors actively support and guide businesses on how to connect and build trade relations into new supply chains at HeathrowTo register for your supplier appointments, please register via Eventbrite.  

You can also attend the Breakfast Opening from 8:30am, which will provide context for the summit held later in the day, in addition to providing networking opportunities.

Speakers at the Breakfast Opening include:

  •       Cllr Adam McVey, Leader of Edinburgh City Council
  •       Liz McAreavey, CEO, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
  •       Tim Allan, President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  •       Phil Wilbraham, Expansion Programme Director, Heathrow

Please register via Eventbrite or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DGCouncil Event: Supplier Development Introduction to Tendering - Dumfries

Event: Supplier Development Programme – Introduction to tendering
Date: Thursday 12 October 
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Location: Business Gateway, 11 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AT

Introduction to Tendering takes you through the tender process from start to finish. From finding contracts, responding to opportunities, the selection stage, award criteria and debriefing, this comprehensive beginner-level course will tell you everything you need to start bidding for public contracts.

This event is FREE to attend but booking is essential. You can BOOK HERE!

DGCouncil Event: Supplier Development Programme – Introduction to working with the public sector

Event: Supplier Development Programme – Introduction to working with the public sector    Date: Wednesday 6 September 
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Location: Lowland Training Centre, 68 -74 George Street, Stranraer, DG9 7JS

This introductory module is recommended for anyone new to bidding. It provides a comprehensive overview of the public sector marketplace in Scotland and beyond and introduces the concept of tendering

These sessions are free of charge however; we would request that you book using the link HERE!


Healthy Working Lives Event

Emotional Resilience and Mental Toughness –

 Wednesday 14th September 9:30am till 1pm

Venue – The Usual Place, Academy Street, Dumfries, DG1 1BZ


This workshop, suitable for staff or managers, is designed to help those who are going through periods of change and/or experiencing increased pressure both on their work and on themselves, to identify how they could develop greater resilience and mental toughness skills.  This course is aimed at managers, staff and owners working in Small to Medium Enterprises of less than 250 staff and priority will be given to staff in these businesses and staff working in the Third Sector.

Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ48)

Before attending the workshop participants will be asked to complete the online MTQ48 - a high quality psychometric measure used to assess Mental Toughness developed in collaboration with Professor Peter Clough of Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Keith Earle, Senior Lecturer, at the University of Hull.  The MTQ48 assesses Mental Toughness through a unique 48 item psychometric measure using the four key components of Mental Toughness, known as the 4 C's:                        

The workshop will be interactive, practical and fun! We will discuss what Mental Toughness is (and isn’t), analyse the feedback from the questionnaire and identify ways participants could expand their emotional resilience and mental toughness skills to benefit both themselves and their organisation.

Some Benefits of Attending…..

ü    Develop   more effective responses to pressure/reduce stress levels

ü    Be   composed under pressure

ü    Reduce   conflict

ü    Have   more ‘bounce’ and ‘bounce back’ capacity

ü    Embrace   changes at work easier

ü    Develop   a positive ‘can do’ attitude

ü    Be   more productive and engaged at work

ü    Improve   team working

ü    Enhance   well-being

ü    Create   a plan for further work and action

 For more information or to book a place please contact-

Richard Smith Tel 01387 272719  or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Developing the Young Workforce for Employers

Times: 09.00 to 12.30

Venue: Laggan Outdoor, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas, DG7 2ES.

Cost: Free

Is recruiting and retaining talented young people a challenge for your business?

This business breakfast offers excellent opportunities. Keynote speaker Mark Smith, Head of Early Careers Strategy at Standard Life, will provide an insight into the challenges and benefits of investing in young people.

Hear from local employers who have adapted their practice to help them recruit and retain young people.

Find out how learning organisations can work with you to develop and prepare young people for your business.

Get information on funding and incentives to support you in recruiting young people to grow your business.

For further information please contact Amanda Beattie, DYW team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. call 01387 245191.


Time: 10.00 to 14.00

Venue: Henry Duncan Building, Dumfries and Galloway College, Bankend Rd, Dumfries, DG1 4FD

Cost: FREE

Looking to develop and grow your creative business? There is a wealth of support available to help you realise your ambitions.

Why not come along to this event to network with and be inspired by the success stories of other creative businesses?

Learn about the support that is available to grow your business and further your creative practice.

You will have the opportunity to attend presentations exploring: the challenges and opportunities facing creative businesses today, support for innovation, and how to effectively market to your customers and audience.

There will be a range of advisers on hand for you to talk to regarding business issues, employment and training, intellectual property, innovation, advancing your creative development, and digital marketing.

There will also be lots of opportunities throughout the session to mingle and network with other creative businesses.

For a full programme please contact Lesley Rogers, Business Adviser Creative Industries on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning 07747040732.


Food and Drink Event 

Raising Finance for Food and Drink Growth

Time: 18.30 to 21.00

Venue: The Creative Whisky Co., New Cample Farm, Thornhill. DG3 5EY

Cost: FREE

Event focussing on the growth aspirations of food and drink businesses.

Having access to new capital can make a difference when it comes to business growth. This informative event will focus on identifying sources of finance, how to access this investment, and what the funders will expect from you.

We will have an insight into ‘Success through Investment’, as we hear from a business that has achieved growth after raising finance.

Numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Finger Buffet will be served on arrival.



Time: 18.30 to 21.00

Venue: Kirroughtree Visitor Centre, Newton Stewart, DG8 7BE

Cost: Free

Galloway Forest and Dark Sky Park offers the potential for the region to become recognised as a year-round 24/7 tourism destination. Being situated in the heart of the UNESCO designated Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, possibilities exist for businesses to welcome more and more visitors from far and wide who are seeking to gaze at the stars and enjoy the region's rich natural and cultural heritage.

There are opportunities to generate new business connected to astro-tourism and increase visitors during the winter months, potentially boosting occupancy rates. Join us at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre in the Dark Sky Park for a hints and tips session on using the stars for profit and if the stars come out partake in some star gazing.

For more information or to book a place please contact Marie McNulty,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere or phone 07467374963