Potential £6 Million Investment In Waterfront
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has today (April 8th) announced plans for a
£6 million redevelopment of the Stranraer waterfront.
On a campaign visit to Stranraer with Galloway and West Dumfries constituency candidate Aileen McLeod, Mr Swinney set out a package of support with five key pledges to the region, if re-elected on 5th May.
Mr Swinney said an SNP Government will support the South of Scotland by prioritising:
- Investing £6 million to revitalise the waterfront in Stranraer.
- Improving journey times by road, lowering rail fares, examining extending the Borders Railway and ensuring 100% access to superfast broadband.
- Recognising the world-class offering of the South of Scotland in its heritage, culture and creative arts, wildlife and green tourism, and local food and drink – and committing to further promoting the region as a visitor destination.
- Environment and flood prevention
- Investing in flood prevention, including planting woodland, and assist in water basin management – to protect homes and the environment.
- Homes and communities
- Investing in infrastructure and development, keeping rural schools open, empowering coastal communities and taking serious action on new, affordable housing.
Setting out the SNP’s commitments for the South of Scotland, John Swinney said:
“This is an ambitious and wide ranging package of support which recognises the huge potential of the region – and it’s important that we give communities here the necessary support to flourish.”
“We are committed to regenerating the waterfront in Stranraer with £6 million – bringing new life to the town, and opening up huge opportunities for retail, leisure and housing development.”
“It’s important that young people have the opportunity to live and work in the communities they’ve grown up in – that’s why we promise to invest a further £25 million in a Rural Housing Fund. And we’ll create opportunities through pioneering infrastructure and development plans while giving communities direct control over revenues from the Crown Estate.
Aileen McLeod said: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome John Swinney to Stranraer as he sets out exciting plans for the town and for the South West. It’s an ambitious blueprint, but one which will give a huge boost to local residents, local businesses and will make an enormous difference in terms of attracting visitors and investment to the region.”
From the Chamber’s point of view, this announcement is to be welcomed, regardless of which party makes such an announcement – election or not. The saga of the waterfront’s on/off/on/off funding has been a long one, with hopes built up in the past, only to be knocked back shortly afterwards.
To be frank, we have waited more than long enough for both UK & Scottish governments to help provide funds to move the development forward.
However, £6M should go a long way to kick-starting the (proposed) retail/water sports/housing plan for the waterfront, and should also help stimulate further investment in the expansion of the marina.
However, the one fly in the (regional) ointment is ‘superfast’ broadband. Anyone who works from home in Galloway knows that, in reality, this is not likely to materialise. Most of the region gets 4 – 6mb download, and an appalling 42Kbs – yes, 42kbs – upload. So, anyone who buys a ‘business’ phone/bb package, will be struggling at these speeds – whilst paying the same price as someone working online, in the city, who gets 100mb connectivity. Put it this way, if you pay for a first class ‘plane ticket, you ain’t gonna be happy when they tell you to sit at the back of the plane in economy….
If you are a developer looking for a waterfront development opportunity, please contact the Chamber and we will be happy to assist you meet the relevant people here in Galloway. (And we have members who can help sort out your internet connection via satellite!)