Gateway to Galloway hub opens at Stranraer harbour

Stranraer’s ambition to redefine itself as a waterfront destination has been boosted by the opening of Gateway to Galloway visitor information centre and community hub at the harbour.

Gateway to Galloway is based in the refurbished former harbour master building
Gateway to Galloway is based in the refurbished former harbour master building

Developed by Stranraer Development Trust this is the culmination of three years of planning for the group as it takes over the striking art deco clock tower and former harbour master building, recently refurbished by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The goal of Gateway to Galloway is to establish a tourism focal point for visitors to the town which will showcase the wealth of things to do and experience in Stranraer and the wider Galloway area.

The information centre will also promote local businesses, produce and crafts; as well as providing volunteering opportunities and space for community groups to showcase their activities.

Trust chairman Romano Petrucci said: “When it was announced that the former tourist information centre was to close a few years ago, just as the community was committing to developing tourism, it was the last thing we wanted to hear.

"At the time we had just held our hugely successful first Oyster Festival, we knew we needed a tourism hub for Stranraer, and we spent a lot of time looking at other examples of community-run information centres.

“We are really serious about promoting this area, and Gateway to Galloway will be for the people of our community as much as for those who visit our town … there is so much going on, and we are astonished at the abundance of quality that there is here.

Gateway to Galloway opened its doors today (Friday) will be run day-to-day by Vanessa Gracie and Amanda Horberry.

Amanda said: “There has been a buzz already about town, and we would love our community to be part of Gateway to Galloway, so anyone wishing to share their knowledge and skills by volunteering their time, please pop in or get in touch.”

Douglas McMillan of McMillan Hotels added: “If we are able to attract even just a fraction of the volume of visitors going through the north channel route ferries, and encourage them to spend a few days exploring the local area, then that would transform Galloway’s visitor economy.”