No Lag­gan the times for

Farm di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion at its

The Galloway News - - FARMING REVIEW - Stephen Nor­ris

With Brexit un­cer­tainty tax­ing minds, farm di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion schemes are seen by many as an eco­nomic lifebelt.

Up at GG’s Yard at Lag­gan, near Gatehouse, en­tre­pre­neur Dun­can McConchie has taken the con­cept to a dif­fer­ent level.

Re­turn­ing home to Gal­loway 11 years ago af­ter a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in the TV in­dus­try, Dun­can had big ideas.

His bold plan for a sus­tain­able ru­ral des­ti­na­tion of ex­cel­lence on Lag­gan’s hill­side raised a few eye­brows.

But far from be­ing scep­ti­cal, his fam­ily em­braced change.

The re­sult was Lag­gan Out­door, now one of Dum­fries and Gal­loway’s big­gest adventure tourism at­trac­tions.

Never one to rest on his lau­rels, Dun­can saw de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial in the old steading down the hill.

He joined the Scot­tish Enterprise Ru­ral Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme (SERLP) – and grad­u­ated full of can–do at­ti­tude.

Dun­can said: “It is the most phe­nom­e­nal pro­gramme ru­ral peo­ple could ever go

“Busi­ness man­agers have to get on the be­lief to do this. “It kicked away all the bar­ri­ers and doubt “I just came out em­pow­ered and ready the world – and we did.”

Dun­can’s first task was to chris­ten the Yard af­ter 99 year-old great–grannie (GG) McConchie liv­ing next door.

Then the bank in­sisted on ac­com­mo­da­tio de­vel­op­ment, so plans were re­drawn lux­ury cab­ins, or ‘snugs’, which opened 2016.

Later that year the Tele­graph rated GG’s of Bri­tain’s top 10 cosiest win­ter re­treats.

En­thused by the pos­i­tive feed­back, fa­ther– Dun­can was con­fi­dent the events venue win­ner.

Wed­ding book­ings soon flooded in plan­ning ap­proval was se­cured.

“We never took a de­posit,” Dun­can came along with us on our jour­ney beca be­lieved in us.

“We did this know­ing we would be do­ing and that our guests would be able to stay

“We got per­mis­sion in Fe­bru­ary 2017 builders were in the fol­low­ing Mon­day.”

The £1.9 mil­lion events and wed­ding venue

Stun­ning set­ting Dun­can and Vicki McConchie in the wed­ding venue at GG’s Yard

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.