Redevelopment of George Hotel seems back to square one

The redevelopment of the George Hotel in Stranraer looks to be back to square one.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is now looking into proposed uses for the George Hotel after a developer backed out
Dumfries and Galloway Council is now looking into proposed uses for the George Hotel after a developer backed out

Earlier this month South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper called for immediate progress on the regeneration of the category-B listed building.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy and Resources Committee last week received a report which revealed any progress up to now has been for nothing.

The update on the former hotel is part of the section covering progress made on the reshaping Stranraer and the West scheme.

A council spokesperson said: “A strategic developer has carried out a feasibility study on the former hotel and concluded that they could not utilise the building for any of their proposed uses for various reasons. Therefore, our council is currently looking at alternative end uses for the former George Hotel, within the context of relevant national and local policy, local regeneration needs and funding opportunities.

“As a result, an initial Preferred Way Forward has now been scoped out but will need further development.

"This suggests the creation of a visitor attraction through the establishment of a cultural centre – having assessed all options this could comprise of a community arts hub, retail space, office accommodation or visitor/bunkhouse accommodation.”

In October 2019, the council prepared and submitted a detailed Stage 2 funding bid to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) requesting £1,349,488 for the Whithorn Sustainable Tourism and Community Hub project to refurbish the ‘New Town Hall’ to provide a community learning hub and bunkhouse.

As part of that bid, an indication was given that the council would provide co-funding for the project of up to £150,000 to enable infrastructure improvements to be made to the Whithorn Way itself, so that the economic benefits of the project could be fully realised.

At the committee meeting members agreed the offer of a grant of £149,828 be issued to the All Roads Lead to Whithorn project.