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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fresh Start welcomes Belle Doyle

Remember Two Thousand Acres of Sky or the Peter Mullan movie The Magdalene Sisters? Well, Fresh Start is pleased to welcome aboard Belle Doyle, a “star” of both of these, as the new Youth Learning Journeys Co-Ordinator.
Scenes from The Magdalene Sisters shot near Moniaive
Belle wasn’t one of the cast, but as far as D&G went she was crucial. As the council’s film officer she played a pivotal role in attracting Mullan’s production team to the region and ensured that all ran smoothly for the TV folk who made the successful BBC drama at Port Logan. This was the time of Foot and Mouth, when the D&G economy was under severe pressure, not least because of a severe downturn in tourism. The £1m that the movie and TV shows brought to D&G was one of the few welcome bright spots – benefiting all kinds of businesses, including hotels and restaurants.

For the past seven years Belle has been away in Glasgow continuing her career in film and TV but returned to Dumfries in February. Since then she has been getting active in the local arts scene and is now on the board of The Stove. 

Fresh Start is delighted to have Belle as part of the team as she has such drive and experience. In the next few months she will be co-ordinating the four Youth Arts Learning Journey projects which we unveiled last week. The scheme, which is LEADER funded, is intended to provide high-quality national experience for young people from D&G, helping develop the talent we need to guarantee of vibrant future for the region’s arts and creative sector. 

Belle says her aim is to help make sure that the four projects are as ambitious and successful as possible. In this way she hopes that they will set down a marker, influencing the way D&G approaches youth arts development in the future.

If you would like further information about anything connected with Fresh Start please email Matthew Shelley at or call 07786 704299.

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