Harper calls for immediate progress with Stranraer regeneration

South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper has called on action to progress the regeneration of Stranraer.

The George Hotel in Stranraer in a category-B listed building
The George Hotel in Stranraer in a category-B listed building

Ms Harper has tabled three questions in the Scottish Parliament asking whether immediate action can be taken to address the derelict George Hotel as well as the Waterfront and East Pier.

She said: “Stranraer is a fantastic place with resilient, honest and hardworking local people. I grew up just outside Stranraer, I have family in the town and it’s an area really important to me.

"However, there are a number of long standing issues in the town which have been left unaddressed for too long. In particular, the redevelopment of the George Hotel, East Pier and Waterfront have been ongoing since prior to my election in 2016 and it is now time for definitive and immediate action, and not more consultation.

"It is vitally important that any further community engagement which is required is expedited. It is crucial that the voices of the community are heard.

“Over the last five years, I have taken part in and supported a number of community stakeholder engagement meetings regarding the regeneration of the George Hotel, East Pier and Waterfront and I want to thank all local people and groups who have made their voices heard in the various engagement opportunities.

"However, we have seen very little progress in dealing with these issues and I fully understand the frustrations of the local community who – prior to the pandemic – worked extremely hard to bring major events to the town like the Skiffie World Championships and the Oyster Festival, which were a great success.

"It isn’t right that the town continues to be blighted by derelict and abandoned buildings and land which is what the George Hotel, East Pier and Waterfront have become.

“I have therefore tabled three Parliamentary questions to ask what engagement the Scottish Government has had with the local authority on these projects and on whether there is a way the Scottish Government can intervene or work with the local authority so that we can see immediate action to make these areas productive and attractive to the local community and to visitors to the area.”