Reshaping Stranraer and the West

The reshaping of Stranraer and the West programme will be the subject of a report to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy and Resources Committee on 30 January. The programme includes Stranraer Waterfront, the town centre and the George Hotel.

A Project Brief will be considered which sets out the requirements for work that will result in the development of a shared vision and prioritised action plan for Stranraer and the west for the next 10 years. This will build upon work undertaken previously and aims to prioritise short to medium projects, fulfilling the objectives previously agreed by the council.

Work in Stranraer will focus on a number of economic impacts, including:

  • Increasing footfall to the town centre by growth markets and growth sectors;
  • Lengthening dwell times by visitors in growth markets and growth sectors;
  • Increasing uptake of the town centre retail offer by visitors attracted to the town centre;
  • Increasing local economic activity while tackling constraints on employability by creating inclusive training and employment opportunities;
  • Increasing participation in the labour market by marginalised/lower skilled groups;
  • Building resiliency for Stranraer town centre during the tourism ‘shoulder months’;
  • Diversifying the income streams from the economic uses of the asset to ensure that it is financially sustainable.

The report states that work on the George Hotel is progressing well, with the first phase of remedial work now complete, including internal propping and water and weather proofing.  Members recognise that the George is a large building in a prime location in the heart of Stranraer and this needs to be addressed quickly as it affects the perception of the town centre as a whole. Therefore, work on the second phase has already started, including an outline business case on possible future uses.  Stakeholder engagement has begun and this will continue to develop as the project progresses. There will also be an opportunity for the public to express views and develop a short-list of preferred solutions.

The biggest strategic driver for investment is currently the Stranraer Waterfront proposition, which aims to reposition Stranraer as a successful marine leisure destination. Work is also underway through the Borderlands Growth deal to secure investment into the expansion of the marina to turn it into a visitor destination and to stimulate a wider range of investments with the potential to create further significant economic activity and benefits for the town.

 

DGCOUNCIL ROB DAVIDSON

Chair of E&R Committee, Rob Davidson said: “This is a welcome update on a priority area of activity for our Council. We have made the George Hotel safe and reopened Church Street but we are acutely aware that the building is essentially a shell and must be redeveloped in order to benefit the town centre in the future. It’s important that we decide on the next steps for this on the basis of community consultation and a robust business case, and in the context of the wider plans to make Stranraer a visitor destination in its own right, which are also outlined in this report.”

Vice Chair, Archie Dryburgh said: “The work will build upon work undertaken previously and aims to prioritise short to medium projects which fulfil the objectives previously agreed by the council. We will take on board views from stakeholders and the public on issues such as the need for improvements to the appearance of the East Pier and consultation on the future use of the George Hotel.”