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Strategy to reposition Stranraer as ‘capital of the west’

Words: Roger Milne
Stranraer / Eggybird

Stranraer and its hinterland should be repositioned as a ‘capital for the west’ of Dumfries and Galloway in a move designed to capitalise on the area as a distinctive marine and leisure destination.

That’s the strategy under consideration by Dumfries and Galloway Council, as set out in a report for the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee this week.

It aims to build on Stranraer’s role as a “gateway to Europe, Ireland, Dumfries and the rest of Scotland”.

Key elements of the strategy include repurposing the waterfront now that the ferry port has relocated, and expanding the marina to provide modern commercial floor space, and making significant infrastructure improvements.

The report stresses that the waterfront provides ample opportunity “to deliver a mix of use to stimulate economic growth upon which the whole town redevelopment will pivot”.

It also insists that the reshaping of Stranraer involves more than the waterfront area. It will include tackling the appearance and desirability of the town centre and its heritage assets and capitalising on the Stranraer Watersport Centre on Loch Ryan and the Rhins coastal path project.

The report highlights the need to build on events like the Wigtown Book Festival and Stranraer Oyster Festival.

It makes the case for leveraging the tourism potential of the wider area, which is both a Dark Skies region and part of the UNESCO Galloway and Ayrshire Biosphere.

Image credit | Eggybird