The Scottish Government has (13 June) confirmed that they have so far failed to allocate a single penny of a £6m “pledge” of funding to support the regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront - and the funding won’t even be confirmed until the Government has carried out a spending review at the end of the year.
The confirmation came in reply to a written Parliamentary question from South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
Commenting on the response, Colin Smyth said:
“There has been a lot of claims lately that part of the £6m pledge of funding for Stranraer Waterfront from the Scottish Government was already being spent. The truth is, over a year since this pledge was made, not a penny is being spent from this £6m pledge and in fact not a penny has even been handed over by the Scottish Government”.
“What is worrying is not only has the Government not allocated any money, they don’t know where the funding will come from to meet the pledge because it isn’t even contained in this year’s Government budget and now they won’t even make a commitment that it will be found at all because they are now carrying out a full spending review which could well see the pledge axed”.
“This is a real betrayal of the people of Stranraer by the SNP Government and shows just how far down their list of priorities Dumfries and Galloway is”.
“Their Parliamentary answer tries to cover up their utter failure when it comes to supporting the regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront by listing totally unrelated previous spending- which is peanuts from a £30bn a year Government budget and most of spend they list was actually allocated before the SNP were even elected in 2007. It’s now 5 years since the council approved the design brief for the East Pier and Port Rodie frontage and so far Dumfries and Galloway Council have spent £5.8m on a range of projects such as the West Pier and regeneration of Agnew Park. However, given the appalling state of the economy at the moment we know it is going to take millions more public money to fill the gap that simply won’t be filled by private sector development and the Scottish Government need to step up to the mark.”
“We need to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to make sure when they carry out their spending review they don’t ditch the £6m pledge for Stranraer and they ensure that the money comes to Dumfries and Galloway as a matter of urgency”
The full Parliamentary question and answer are here:
Written Answers- 13 June 2017- S5W-0956:
Colin Smyth (South Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government how much investment it has made in the regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront.
Derek Mackay (Cabinet Secretary for Finance):
Whilst we regularly discuss regeneration plans with Dumfries and Galloway Council it is the council which has the primary responsibility for, and lead role in implementing, plans in relation to the regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront.
In addition to a range of Scottish Government funding across Dumfries and Galloway, which has contributed to economic resilience across the area, Stranraer has specifically benefited from
£1.2m from Scottish Enterprise in relation to the Stranraer Waterfront since April 2006, with an additional £3m provided to various Stranraer studies and works prior to this date.
£790k from the Town Centre Regeneration Fund in 2009-10
£1.8m from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for the Stranraer Town Centre Regeneration Initiative in 2016-17 and
£987k from the RCGF for the Stranraer Millennium Centre in 2017-18.
We have also agreed to provide up to £6m to support Dumfries and Galloway Council with its plans in relation to the Stranraer Waterfront, subject to the Spending Review.