New bowling centre planned for Stranraer waterfront

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An International six-rink Indoor Bowling Centre is to be built to accommodate the Wigtownshire community.

The project is part of the proposed £50m investment plan for the Stranraer Waterfront, a joint venture between Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Irish developers “The McKinney Group”.

The members of the Wigtownshire Community Sports Centre are delighted to announce that they have made excellent progress with the aforementioned groups in connection to the Waterfront project.

The WCSC have been in contact with The Scottish Indoor Bowling Association and Bowls Scotland concerning the provision of an international indoor facility on the Waterfront development and have gained their full support.

SIBA Secretary, Gordon Woods said: “We are delighted to hear that the Indoor Bowling Club in Stranraer is getting closer to becoming a reality. Since the closure of Newton Stewart the community of bowlers in Wigtownshire have been deprived of an Indoor centre and this news is a positive boost to them. The SIBA wish all of those involved the best of luck in bringing the creation of this stadium to fruition and we look forward to seeing Indoor bowling in Wigtownshire again in the near future.”

Brendan Handling, Secretary of the WCSC said that the Board had been in contact with Billy McKinney of the McKinney Group for some time and with the support of Richard Arkless had arranged a meeting whereby the concept had been discussed and a way forward agreed to accommodate the Centre as part of the larger development.

Richard Arkless MP said: “I was pleased to help the WCSC meet the developer and I am delighted that this was the outcome. This is an excellent proposal, an international indoor facility will add yet another attraction in the Waterfront Development that would attract people to visit Stranraer. It is a win, win for Stranraer, wider Wigtownshire and Southern Scotland.

“I’m so hopeful about the future of Stranraer but it’s always frustrating how long these things take to happen. I’m doing everything I can to push things on.

“These are the kinds of partnerships the developer is working on and my role is to make sure these contacts are made and everyone is moving forward.”

Finlay Carson MSP said at meeting between himself and the WCSC that he was excited about the proposal and understood its importance as an amenity for the local community and would add his support as necessary. The chance of having an international Indoor Centre in the town that also catered for the local bowling community was an excellent opportunity for the town, the County and for Scotland.

The National Development Manager for Bowls Scotland Colin Hutchinson said that he was very excited at the prospect of an international rink being created in Stranraer and was happy to give the project his full support.

Bryce Greenhill, Chairman of the WCSC said the inclusion of this top class modern facility in conjunction with the other amenities that Billy McKinney had outlined that he is proposing to be part of the Waterfront development such as the new Ten-Pin and Multi screen Cinema complex etc, will put Stranraer bowling on the map as a bona fide destination for international competitions as well as supporting and encouraging bowling for the local community.

A statement from WCSC said: “We welcome the support from our two politicians, SIBA, Bowls Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council and especially Third Sector D & G for their valuable advice on this long road to providing this facility for the local community.

“We as a registered Charity try to organize funding events to help raise money for the project and we have a Prize Bingo coming up shortly and a Xmas Fete on the 17th December at the Castle Green in Stranraer and early next year we’ll be having a Race Night.”