Money for nothing

For sale, Stranraer waterfront.
For sale, Stranraer waterfront.

An MSP has questioned the Scottish Government on the fate of £6m it promised for the project to give Stranraer Waterfront a facelift.

The Labour South of Scotland member Colin Smyth has called on the government to confirm that the cash injection, pledged before the last Holyrood election, will eventually take place after a Dumfries and Galloway Council report stated the Waterfront project now faces “challenges” due to economic factors hitting private investment in the project.

The MSP states that this makes the government cash contribution all the more vital but, repeating earlier claims, “not a penny” of the £6m appears in current goverment spending plans.

He stated: “The challenge of market failure is nothing new when it comes to the Waterfront.

“However, the current economic woes, exasperated by Brexit, really does mean business confidence is at rock-bottom and companies aren’t queuing up to invest in busy city centre developments, never mind projects such the Waterfront. The investment from the public sector is therefore more crucial than ever before to help fill thatgap.

“That’s why it is so disappointing that, 18 months since the Scottish Government pledged to invest £6m just before an election, not a penny has even been handed over. In fact, it hasn’t even been included in the Government’s budget to date, so they have no idea where the funding will come from.”

“It’s more than five years since the council approved the design for the East Pier and Port Rodie frontage and