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One of the initial tasks for Jan Falconer, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s recently appointed Head of Economic Development, has been to look at the Stranraer Waterfront Project. Jan brings her significant experience of working in many locations, from New Zealand to Orkney, through Europe and Aberdeen, tailoring a large range of projects to suit the ambitions of local communities. She has worked in partnership with both private and public, government and non-government organisations, looking for unique selling points to enable the communities to achieve their ambitions.
This will put her in good stead to take over as lead on this ambitious project which will reposition Stranraer and its port as a sustainable marine leisure destination where the project’s unique selling point will be to transform it into an international gateway to the South of Scotland.
The Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee will hear a report from Jan and her team on the progress of Stranraer’s Waterfront’s regeneration programme - The Stranraer Waterfront urban Design Strategy and Masterplan - on Tuesday (21 Nov).
The Waterfront programme is complex and requires access to various sources of funding, both private and public, to deliver the wider project. This report will include the progress of essential ground investigation surveys at the East Pier which will enable our Council to gauge the scale of remediation and level of repairs required. The results will direct the next stage which will be to develop the mixture of land usage, as appropriate to the site. These ground investigations are critical to the financial viability of the developments and will help quantify the scale of the associated costs of the development. The timescale for this will be around the end of March 2018.
To support the wider programme of delivery our Council has invested around £5.8M and attracted in the region of £2.9M of external funding which has already delivered a number of projects since 2011 at both the Waterfront and in the Town Centre. This has included: £950k for the construction of new slipway, construction of new boatyard and provision of a new boat Lift; £645k for the construction of the West Pier; and £800k for the regeneration of Agnew Park, amongst others.
In addition to the ground investigation surveys, an over water survey of the marina will also be required. This is to establish whether the material in the sea bed has the capability to be used as fill material for the proposed causeway design of the marina. Sources of funding, which will be in the region of £400,000, have yet to be identified but once the due diligence for the East Pier is known our Council will seek support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
Combined with the Full Business Case recommendation of expansion of the current marina to around 300 berths, the total estimated cost of the development is around £21M, allowing for contingencies and depending on the phasing and final designs.
Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Chair of EEI Committee said: “The projects around Stranraer, both completed and those underway, are the visible evidence that the area is undergoing positive change and renewal. We will now be looking at starting the next phase of projects in January when we will start work on the Old Harbourmaster’s office and the rollout of projects which will continue to build the wider Waterfront scheme.
This will help to leverage further funding from the Scottish Government and other sources, which will lead to the private sector gaining the confidence to invest in our Council’s vision. Building the local economy is one of our Council’s top priorities and by developing Stranraer and it’s marina we will be creating a marine gateway to our region as a whole and providing an additional access point to all Dumfries and Galloway has to offer.”