Current Projects

Entrepreneurialism in the Farming Sector

 A review of current knowledge of farm business diversification has been completed and has been encapsulated in a research briefing paper (please go to our Publications' page for a copy). This study looked at current knowledge about the nature and spread of the ‘other’ businesses that farmers engage in, their rationale for doing so, what works, and why.

 The review provides the baseline for a likely bid for funding to undertake stage 1 of a large scale study across Dumfries and Galloway which will offer new insights into the extent of farm business diversification – what works and what doesn’t and why; the potential impact of diversification on job creation, skills needs; and, for sustainable communities.  


Impact of Frequent Low Level Flooding

A literature review has been completed looking at the wellbeing of business owners and their willingness to invest in their businesses, with particular emphasis on Dumfries and the Whitesands. This information will form the basis of a research briefing paper and the Crichton Institute is currently sourcing possible funders.


Evaluation of ‘The Queensberry Initiative’

This Mid-Nithsdale school-centred initiative is designed to ensure that all pupils in the catchment are ‘ready for work’ by advancing their education through the development of enterprise, supporting experiential learning outcomes and advancing community engagement and development. This is an important reputational study for the Crichton Institute which was identified as ‘evaluator of choice’ by the Initiative. Please refer to our Publications page to access the full report in pdf format.


Technical analysis in support of Dumfries and Galloway Council Economic Strategy 2014-2020

A copy of the report that has been published in June 2014 can be accessed via this website's Publication's page.


Dumfries and Galloway Area Profiles

These are currently being worked on covering Wigtownshire, Stewartry, Nithsdale, Annandale & Eskdale.


Destination Dumfries & Galloway

Evaluation of the Wild Spring Festival 2014


Policy Mapping of Dumfries & Galloway

The Policy team of Crichton Institute have completed a desk study and mapping exercise to log all the policy topics and briefings that are available on Dumfries & Galloway. This information has now been collated into a detailed database, which will inform Crichton Institute of gaps and priorities for work relating to the region. An edited version of this database will be available to the public via the Crichton Institute website and ultimately via the Observatory website.


Development of the Crichton Institute Regional Observatory  

The Crichton Institute Regional Observatory has now been launched. 

Following a period of extensive collaboration between representatives from Dumfries and Galloway Council, the University of the West of Scotland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway The first phase of the Observatory development was completed in June 2014, culminating in the soft launch of the website. The group have worked with SCET (Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies) to design and populate the website portal. Tony Fitzpatrick, Director of the Observatory, comments on the work of the group “There has been a real cross-agency enthusiasm for developing this regional resource. I know from work done across the UK and Europe that successful regions are those that best understand, investigate and position themselves when it comes to seeking resources to tackle regional issues. Rural areas in particular often struggle and lack the capacity to do this effectively and the Observatory is all about supporting Crichton Institute to build the capacity to assist local businesses, agencies and communities.”

Following the launch at the end of June 2014 the Observatory will work with third parties to ensure future developments will support needs and requirements of the region. As part of this we would like to hear from any organisation, agency or individual, who may have data or reports which fit the remit of the Crichton Institute and in turn could be made available publicly through the Observatory website.


Business Intelligence

Under the lead of the University of the West of Scotland a working group has been established bringing together representatives of businesses, sectors and communities in order to agree the key issues affecting Dumfries & Galloway (key stakeholders involved are Scottish Enterprise, FSB, Chamber of Commerce, Dumfries & Galloway Council and Dumfries & Galloway College (with links to previous work done through South of Scotland Business Solutions).  

A number of events (i.e. Crichton Institute Business Conversations) have already taken place engaging local businesses and organisations in discussions around issues of importance to them. Feedback has been given to the relevant stakeholders following these events.


Challenges in Europe: the quest for new competitiveness

Director of Research, Dr Carol Hill, was an invited speaker at an international conference hosted by the Faculty of Economics at the University of Split where the focus was on cohesion in the EU, funding to regions and collaborative research programmes linked to regional regeneration summer 2013).


Macmillan Cancer Information Libraries

In partnership with others, Crichton Institute has been commissioned to evaluate a Macmillan initiative to develop Cancer Information Libraries and as part of that, will explore issues around introducing third sector practice into the statutory sector.

In partnership with others, Crichton Institute has been successful with its first tender for externally commissioned work and participating in evaluating the Macmillan Cancer Information Libraries. For Crichton Institute, the importance of this study lies in the lessons to be learnt from the initiative’s attempted integration of third sector delivery models with statutory sector services.


New Collaborations Under Development

  • 'Understanding the impact of organisational culture on mainstreaming assets-based approaches to public service delivery'
  • ‘The impact of change in dairy farming systems on the environment: A new approach to policy development
  • Horizon 2020: Collaboration with Crichton Carbon Centre to develop large scale application, supported by the innovation voucher scheme.
  • Regular meetings with Dennis O’Keeffe project Director D&G hospital development in support of major study of community benefits deriving from the project
  • Successful application to SFC (in collaboration with the Crichton Carbon Centre) for a three year post-doctoral study to examine 'sustainable rurality'.
  • Successful application to SFC for two further three year post-doctoral posts to: 1) to examine the longer-term economic and community impacts of inward capital investment in the region (hospital new build) 2) to investigate education and skills needs within the region.
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