The George Hotel, Stranraer

The George Hotel in Stranraer was purchased by the Council on 13 December 2017 to enable the building to be safeguarded from ongoing deterioration with a view to it being restored and re-used.

The building is category B Listed and occupies a prominent corner site in the heart of Stranraer town centre. 

The George Hotel Stranraer

We are working to resolve the current situation by every means possible, however, public safety remains and always will be our Council's first concern.

Further information about what's happening can be found in below:

FAQs

Church Street Stranraer closure/ George Hotel

Why is Church Street closed to traffic?

Due to safety concerns with the roof structure of the George Hotel and to ensure public safety the recommended advice was to close through traffic access along part of Church Street to the junction with George Street. This was to initially allow the Council to remove loose slates from the roof which posed an immediate danger to public safety. During this period of closure there was an opportunity to allow precautionary checks for further structural defects. These checks confirmed our engineer's advice that the roof structure and the majority of the interior had deteriorated to such an extent that it is now considered irretrievable.

As a result of concerns about the potential for further collapse within the roof structure, the consulting structural engineers update report stated: "It would therefore be recommended to create a public safety exclusion zone around the building, in the interests of public safety".

12 July 2019 - Update:

A contract has now been approved from a specialist demolition and shoring contractor. Operations will commence on site on the 29th July 2019. In the next two weeks the contractor will be preparing their construction plan and all necessary risk assessments and method statements to comply with health and safety legislation.

19 August 2019 - Update:

The contractor has set up site to the rear of the hotel with his welfare facilities and site compound are in place.  The support design work is complete, and the supports are on site ready to be installed to support the façade to Church street. 

  • A soft strip out is underway removing existing partitions and plasterwork to expose the existing masonry walls to examine the structural condition.  Local propping is in hand to various areas to stabilise parts of the of the building. 
  • The existing floors are in a very poor condition and are going to be removed or fully propped to be able to form a safe working platform as the planned demolition works. 

2 September 2019 - Update

The removal of plasterboard, door frames, doors, finishes, etc has now been completed. However, some internal stud partitions have been left in place where they have now become structural and are supporting some of the internal parts of the building, due to the poor condition of adjacent walls and ceilings. These will be removed later along with the roof and floors.

22 July 2019 - Update:

We were alerted to residents concerns around parking.  Most of these have been resolved and the Community Police team have been around to check and address any problems.

19 August 2019 - Update:

We were informed of problems with parking. This is a matter for Police Scotland and we have contacted them to make them aware of the issue.

Please note that parking is in the allocated bays only (display disc) for 1 hr only and that no cars should be parked on the road with exception of immediate drop off and no waiting.

How long will it be closed for?

12 July 2019 - Update:

The planned completion date for works is December 2019, this means the duration of the contract will be 22 weeks. As stated above, we will always consider your safety first and foremost, therefore it's likely that the footpath and roadway will remain closed during this period.

This first phase of work will result in temporary shoring to allow the façade of the building to be retained. In the interests of public safety we will need to maintain a 2.5m exclusion zone until then.

22 July 2019 - Update:

A contractor has been appointed for demolition and shoring works. The first site meeting has now been arranged with the contractor for Monday 29th July.

Scottish Gas have been on site and disconnected the gas main.
 

What are you doing about the look of the site?

12 July 2019 - Update:

We recognise that the building remains an eyesore, but we have tried to address this to an extent by covering the hoardings surrounding the George with images of old and contemporary Stranraer. We will monitor this as work continues and do what we can.
 

Is the diversion route going to cause problems?

We continue to monitor traffic impacts and potential congestion and address concerns. Regarding concerns about the temporary diversion route: the Roads and Infrastructure Service advise that the diversion route along Sun Street and High Street is considered a suitable alternative, with footways on both sides.
 

Can't it just be demolished now?

The option to demolish will be considered as part of that future report, although it should be noted that as a B-Listed building this would require approval from Historic Environment Scotland and as such is not a decision that rests with the Council. Stabilisation works are urgently required, irrespective of the future of the building, to re-open roads and pathways.

29 July 2019 Update:

Various press outlets have reported this week that the George Hotel is to be demolished. This is not the case at present, although demolition may be considered in the future once structural reports are finalised. As stated above, the building is Category B Listed and the process of de-listing would take many years to complete and would require approval from Historic Environment Scotland. It is not a decision the Council can make.
 

How can I have a say about what happens with the building next?

Having made the area safe for the public the next stage is to undertake the necessary technical assessment of the building and to identify a sound and sustainable end use for the building that is wanted and that will benefit Stranraer. The Stranraer Town Centre Regeneration Initiative Project includes consideration of future uses, which will be informed by a community and stakeholder engagement programme to be undertaken in parallel with the technical works. Stranraer and the surrounding communities will participate in the decision of future developments. Stakeholder identification and engagement in identifying what the building can, and will be used for, is vital. Relevant plans, sessions and events will be delivered to help develop the business case and will involve the community. We have been in discussion with the Stranraer Moving and Revitalising Taskforce (SMART), Community Councils and local Elected Members.

22 July 2019 Update:

There will be a public drop-in session on George Hotel on Monday 29 July 2019, 1300 to 1500 [1pm to 3pm], at Stranraer Customer Services Centre, North Strand Street, Stranraer.

19 August Update:

The drop in session was attended by local residents, publicised through the newsletters and focused on those businesses and premises affected on Church Street and George Street.  The question of end use was raised, people were asking why we couldn't just pull it down and when we explained that we haven't ruled this out but it would be part of a bigger assessment of potential end uses on a cost benefit basis they seemed to be satisfied that further engagement would be undertaken to provide a suitable end use for the building that took into account local views.

The one notable suggestion for end use was in relation to providing something for young people to do - no firm proposals as yet but they said that youngsters don't have much to do in Stranraer and that this should be taken into consideration.

What has happened to the funding from Scottish Government?

Dumfries and Galloway Council received a £1.8m grant offer from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund in 2016-17 for the delivery of the Stranraer Town Centre Regeneration Initiative project which encompassed plans for both the former hotel in George Street and the now complete Harbour Master's Office at the marina.

The funding obtained from the Scottish Government included the purchase of the George Hotel by the Council and the refurbishment of the property as a multi-purpose venue. The funding provided is still available for the project.
 

Is the Council going to have to repay it?

No. The Council intend to use the funding for the purpose it was allocated for. We are in regular contact with the Scottish Government and keep them appraised of all developments.
 

My business is suffering, can I apply for any compensation?

Local businesses have been contacted personally and regular visits are being arranged. Issues that may be affecting business can be discussed directly with us.

12 July 2019 - Update:

Local businesses remain open and, after consultation with local retailers, an advertising panel promoting nearby outlets has been created and fixed to the hoardings. 
 

Where can I find information updates as I want to be kept informed about what is happening?

Here: www.dumgal.gov.uk/georgehotel

Page last updated: 02/09/2019
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