Dumfries and Galloway  Council has been successful in securing more funding for the regeneration of Stranraer after it was confirmed that their bid for £1.8 million of funding from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) has been successful.

However, unfortunately similar bids for projects in Dumfries and Kirkcudbright did not receive funding.

The Council applied to the joint COSLA and Scottish Government RCGF last year. The application for £1.8 million for Stranraer builds on the success that the council had in achieving over £3 million of funding to regenerate parts of the town last year.

This new funding has been awarded to improve the physical link from the successfully developed Castle Square to the Marina and, enhancing the links to the West Pier.

As part of these improvements, an extension to the former Harbour Masters office at the Marina entrance and improvements to the public realm which will extend along George Street and link to the former Harbour Master’s office. Included as part of the project is initial scoping for improvements to the George Hotel in Stranraer. The Council will commence discussions with partners on how to take this forward.

The Stranraer Urban Design Strategy and Masterplan (agreed in 2009) is driving forward investment and delivering change in both the town centre and the waterfront areas of the Town.

The recently awarded CARS Funding together with Council’s own Capital funding for the period 2016 – 2021 will drive forward significant change, that together will combine with a range of measures to increase the competitiveness and vitality of Stranraer as a business and visitor destination. In turn, by delivering these new improvements, it will improve quality of life for people in Stranraer and provide access to new training and employment opportunities.

Chair of the Environment, Economy and Infrastructure committee, Cllr Colin Smyth, said “I am pleased that we have once again been able to secure yet more funding to invest in the regeneration of Stranraer. Building the local economy is the number one priority for this council and a key part of this is the regeneration of Stranraer. By investing in the town to make it attractive, we hope we can boost the number of people who visit Stranraer, which is good for local shops. This investment in the regeneration of the town will help improve the vitality and competitiveness of Stranraer, which has struggled in recent years to attract commercial inward investment and is yet more evidence of our commitment to the town.

Last year, our Council secured more than £3 million for improvements in Stranraer. Much of that investment has so far gone towards the Stranraer Waterfront because it is the main opportunity that exists to deliver transformational change for the town and offers a new reason to attract visitors. However, I strongly believe that the regeneration of Stranraer is about more than just the Waterfront. That is why we need to maximise the positive impact of physical change and to make tangible links from the Town centre to the Waterfront and East Pier.

Although this funding is a positive step forward, we know there is a lot more to be done. That’s why I recently met with the Deputy First Minister John Swinney to highlight again the need for Government investment to help take forward the exciting development plans for the Waterfront. The Council have invested significant sums in the Waterfront and we have a preferred developer in place for the East Pier. But what is clear is the private sector and the council on their own won’t be enough to transform the Waterfront. It will require significant Scottish Government investment. I believe the project is not only important to the regeneration of Wigtownshire but has a contribution to make to the wider Scottish economy that’s why the Scottish Government should play its part in making it happen”.

The Council also submitted an application for regeneration capital grant funding for Dumfries Town Centre and Kirkcudbright. Disappointingly, these projects were not approved.

The Dumfries regeneration bid included:
• Bringing four long term vacant buildings back into sustainable use
• Improving the maintenance and presentation of existing building
• Addressing street surfacing and layout

The Kirkcudbright Art Gallery bid was to assist with the creation of a gallery of national significance to celebrate and promote the unique art heritage of Kirkcudbright. To do this, Kirkcudbright Town Hall would be adapted in its entirety for the use as a gallery.

Cllr Colin Smyth, added, “I am disappointed that other regeneration projects for Dumfries Town Centre and Kirkcudbright did not receive funding. However, we will now be looking at how we can take these projects forward.”

Latest Articles