Lotto and council in town revamp cash talks today

Dumfries and Galloway Council will today (Friday) meet with the Heritage Lottery Fund to discuss funding plans for Stranraer’s ambitious £3.5m improvement blueprint.

If the bid is successful, the funding would be used to improve some of the town’s most important buildings within its conservation area.

The plan would be to target the B-listed George Hotel and the old harbour master’s office which would both undergo major restoration works.

Stranraer Museum and the Golden Cross Public House would undergo improvements to their exteriors and see the restoration of their historical features.

In addition a facade improvement scheme will be introduced for commercial properties within the Stranraer conservation areas.

The meeting is a chance for the Heritage Lottery Fund to gauge support for the project which will be attended by local interest groups such as the Stranraer and District Local History Trust and Stranraer Business Improvement District.

Councillor Colin Smyth, chairman of the economy, environment and infrastructure committee, said: “This meeting is part of our stage one application so we are still very early on in the process, but it is important that the Heritage Lottery understands just how important this initiative is to our ambitions to regenerate the area.

“Not only would the project deliver much-needed investment in Stranraer’s historic buildings, but it could also bring further benefits in the form of training and employment opportunities for local contractors.

“The regeneration of Stranraer is about more than just the Waterfront and this exciting plan would ensure improvements in and around the town centre but also better links between Castle Square and the West Pier and marina area. The council has a role to play and has already pledged significant investment, but we know we need to attract external funding from both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland to take the project forward .”