Waterfront cash needed now, says MP

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has stepped up the pressure on the Scottish Government to provide funding to regenerate the Stranraer Waterfront

The MP has written to the Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney warning him that without major public sector investment in the Waterfront, regeneration plans could fail.

Over the last few years Dumfries and Galloway Council has invested millions in regeneration work including refurbishing the West Pier and work is about to begin on the upgrading of Agnew Park.

In addition ,investment is being made in enhanced marina facilities and the council are about to complete an outline Business Case for the expansion of the marina.

It is expected that the preferred bidder for Stena’s East Pier will be revealed by the end of this month.

However, Mr Brown believes it will take significant Government investment to fully develop the site.

He added: “There is no doubt that there is some momentum building in terms of regeneration in Stranraer.

“However, it is clear that the scale of the site means it won’t be fully regenerated by the private sector.

“I am sure we will see, for example, a supermarket and other retail and leisure developments and expansion of the marina is clearly on the cards.

“But I doubt that in the current climate there will be a lot of demand for a private housing development and a large part of the site could go undeveloped.

“So far the Scottish Government has been the weakest link when it come to the waterfront. It hasn’t provided a penny of investment for the waterfront and that needs to change.”