Progress on giving Stranraer harbour and marina the multi-million pound upgrade it badly needs is “painfully slow”, it was claimed this week.
Galloway and West Dumfries Conservative MSP Finlay Carson has called on the Scottish Government to honour an election pledge to spend £6 million on a redevelopment of the waterfront “which has yet to be delivered.”
He has welcomed the formation of a local group of interested parties, which will help plan exactly what form the ‘re-birth’ of Stranraer should take but added that the release of the government cash was vital.
He said: “The creation of this group is welcome and follows on from the stakeholder meeting I held last November with the council and other key stakeholders in relation to the development of the waterfront and marina in Stranraer.
“Ever since my election as the constituency MSP, I have been calling for this regeneration funding to be put in place in order to give a major boost to the local economy.
“Sadly that funding from the SNP Government, despite their pre-election promises has not been forthcoming.”
He went on: “The plans for the Waterfront in Stranraer are absolutely vital for regenerating the area and for growing the local economy in the future, yet we still have no idea of where on the timeline we are with regards to getting shovels in the ground.
“Last year, the Minister confirmed to me in answer to a question in the chamber, that Dumfries and Galloway Council had missed a vital deadline to submit their Borderlands proposals to the Scottish Government.
“The people and businesses of Stranraer have waited far too long on both the council and the SNP Government to deliver on this major investment.
“Before the 2016 election, the SNP Government committed to delivering £6m worth of funding for the waterfront, yet we are still waiting.
“I sincerely hope that the Waterfront redevelopment is part of the Borderlands Growth Deal that will be announced in the Spring.”
The area’s SNP MSP Emma Harper insisted that the redevelopment was still on the way, commenting: “I am looking forward to working closely with this new group to deliver the vision they wish to see for Stranraer’s waterfront and marina area.
“I’ve already been in regular contact about this group with local Councillor Ros Surtees and I am happy to help her expedite any progress and I can raise issues directly with the Scottish Government.”