The regeneration of the Stranraer Waterfront looks set to take a huge step forward this Wednesday.
Councillors on Wigtown Area Committee are being asked to approve a funding request for work on the East Pier and a building project for skiff racing boats involving local schoolchildren.
Council officers working on the project are asking councillors to recommend £260,000 from the Economy Environment and Infrastructure Committee to redevelop the East Pier and expand the marina. The details are subject to ongoing design work but the procurement of a smaller slipway and the addition of a boat lift has already allowed the council to deliver savings on this project from the original budget.
The Stranraer Watersports Association is also seeking a contribution from the council to develop their proposal for the St Alyes skiff building project. This will involve the sailing club linking with local schools and Stranraer Academy pupils constructing the boats under the supervision of club officials. The project would cost £140,000 funded by the Council (£70,000) and the Big Lottery Coastal Communities Fund (£70.000). The project would fund the construction of a new boathouse at the rear of Agnew Park, where the boats would also be stored. Once constructed, the boats could be launched from the slipway and raced in Loch Ryan. The project aims to encourage youth groups to learn traditional craft and boat building skills and get involved with watersports.
So far the ‘Stranraer Programme’ has come in, provisionally, £330,000 under budget. The £2.427million capital allocation granted in 2013 has bee used to regenerate the West Pier (£640,000); create a slipway (£941,000); gateways (£100,000); bird hides and fishing stands (£100,000); access and environmental works (£313,000); marina outboard boating club (£52,000); townscape heritage initiative (£34,000); Agnew Park (£255,000) and car park improvements (£100,000) - a total spend of £2,253,000.
The boat lift beside the harbour wall and the slipway are both fully operational and the newly formed Stranraer Sailing Club held its first regatta recently.
There are still outstanding costs to be incurred from providing a wash down facility at the boatyard, currently anticipated by the Council to cost £25,000. The installation of this facility has been delayed as a result of a lack of clarity regarding effluent discharge into the foul drainage system. The council is currently in discussions with Scottish Water and SEPA to reach a satisfactory outcome. Once agreement is reached the wash down will be installed.