Community Has Their Say On The future of Stranraer

D&G Council agreed in 2021 that five places across Dumfries and Galloway should be included in the Borderlands Place Programme as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The five places were Gretna, Kirkconnel, Stranraer, Whithorn and Wigtown.

As part of this, a Place Plan for Stranraer has now been prepared. The Place Plan, if endorsed by Members of the Council’s Economy and Resources Committee (5 September), will be presented to the Borderlands Place Programme Board for consideration in September 2023.

With support from our Council and local partners, a Town Team led by local groups has completed an extensive consultation and planning making process that has engaged over 2,000 people. The engagement process consisted of 27 extensively publicised events, over 6 months, at various venues throughout Stranraer. These were often linked with other ongoing projects in Stranraer, such as the developments planned for The George Hotel and the Marina and waterfront.

The Town Team was made up from Stranraer stakeholders, including representatives from private sector, third sector, education, health care, plus youth and community councils. Representatives from Dumfries and Galloway Council, South of Scotland Enterprise and NHS Dumfries and Galloway worked closely with the Team at all stages of the Plan’s preparation.

The Place Plan identifies issues and opportunities for the town, sets out a place-based framework for addressing these and highlights six priority projects that could benefit from funding support from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The Place Plan has now been prepared and it identifies the key issues and ambitions that the community has for its place. The are set out as five ‘Stands’:
• Quality of Life – Healthcare | Poverty | Drink/Drugs
• Work & Opportunity – Transport | Enterprise | Employment
• Play & Creativity – The George | One Waterfront | Playtime
• Environment & Climate – Climate | Food Futures | Environment
• Pride & Citizenship – Vacant/Derelict Spaces | Democracy

The Place Plan examines the five strands from a place perspective and identifies opportunities to help the town thrive, expressing these as four quarters for particular action:
• Quarter 1 – ‘One Waterfront’ – Featuring the new water sports centre, Marina expansion and Marine research centre.
• Quarter 2 – ‘Uptown’ – The George as a creative hub, bunkhouse and climbing centre.
• Quarter 3 – ‘Enterprise Zone’ – Town centre transformation for mixed use.
• Quarter 4 – ‘Sanctuary’ – Black Stank, a 20-acre sanctuary, wild wellness, growing and learning

Six priority projects have also been identified and ranked by the People of Stranraer as follows:
1. East Pier Event Space – Augment the east pier, create safe public space.
Transport hub.
2. Wet Weather Escapes – Indoor family fun in the town centre i.e., bowling or laser tag.
3. The Big Makeover – transform the town centre i.e., augment shop fronts and streetscapes. Connecting the town to the waterfront.
4. Revive. Town Centre Living – Transform empty retail premises for housing and enterprise.
5. Sanctuary Outdoor Nursery – Outdoor childcare provision Inc. training and work experience/ placements.
6. Dick’s Hill Wellbeing Hub – A shared resource for wellbeing, growing skills, social connection and activities.

Councillor David Inglis, Vice Chair of Economy and Resources Committee and Chair of Wigtown Area Committee said: “This is a great achievement and I’d like to thank all those involved. For over 2,000 local people to have participated is not only a fantastic result but proves that the local community need this and want to be part of it. I look forward to the next steps to regenerate Stranraer.”
Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ian Carruthers said: “This Stranraer Plan, and the Place Plans for the other four areas, gives locals a real opportunity to have a say and shape the towns they live in, so that community need is met, and funding and provision is targeted to where it is required. Providing E&R committee agrees, the next steps will be to recommend the Place Plan to the Borderlands Place Programme Board and the Borderlands Partnership as the basis on which to prepare a Borderlands Town Investment Plan.”

To read the full report, including the Stranraer Place Plan, go to:
Agenda for Economy and Resources Committee on Tuesday, 5th September, 2023, 10.30 am – Dumfries and Galloway Council (moderngov.co.uk)