Stranraer project cost row

Council officers working on the regeneration of Stranraer Town Centre and the Waterfront are to give exact costings for the project.

Elected members of Wigtown Area Committee of Dumfries and Galloway Council say they want the figures so they can justify to taxpayers that the money is being prudently spent.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the committee in Stranraer the members complained about the lack of detail in the report on the project, which asked members to “note the progress made on all projects”, something they could not accept as, without clarification of the costs and detail of the process involved, they were unsure of what ‘progress’ had been made although members did accept that some details could be commercially sensitive.

Stranraer councillor Willie Scobie said: “We should be able to see what progress has been made. Officers are saying that they are satisfied but councillors have not been given the information to see if they are also satisfied. Ten months have passed and the people of Stranraer know nothing and nor do we.”

Ewan Green from the council’s economic development team assured the members that the first draft of the business case for the marina was due in June and the costs would be included then.

The Waterfront regeneration proposes to improve Agnew Park; increase the scale of the marina development to 300 berths and explore the East Pier’s potential.

The entire project, according to council officers, will come in at around £12million, with potential funding coming from the Scottish Government, who have pledged £6 million, plus cash from Scottish Enterprise, Crown Estates and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee will be asked to approve a further £321,201 to bring the local authority’s contribution to £900,201 for Stranraer’s town centre regeneration though the Historic Environment Scotland Conservation Area regeneration Scheme (CARS).