South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has praised the ‘tireless’ work of volunteers following a visit to the newly opened Gateway to Galloway in Stranraer.
The community-led visitor information centre and community hub is based at Stranraer Harbour and has been developed by the Stranraer Development Trust over the past three years.
The group have taken over the art deco clock tower and former harbour master building which were recently refurbished by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Colin Smyth was Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy Committee when the Council agreed to a £3.5m regeneration programme for Stranraer, including essential repairs and an extension to the former Harbour Masters office which hosts the new centre.
Colin Smyth said: “Gateway to Galloway will be an invaluable facility for visitors to the area and tourists, while also helping to promote the area to the wider community in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.
“The information centre will also provide a boost for local businesses who can promote produce and crafts; as well as giving volunteering opportunities and space for community groups to showcase their activities.
“Stranraer and the wider Wigtownshire area has a wealth of brilliant and beautiful places to see.
“It was great to be able to visit the hub the other week to meet staff but also some of the fantastic volunteers who give up their time to support the centre. Volunteers are the backbone of our communities and it is thanks to their tireless work that such facilities can exist.
“The opening up of the centre is yet another excellent achievement for the Stranraer Development Trust and the local community, and they can be very proud of the Gateway to Galloway and the role it will play in promoting the area.
“I recall as Chair of the Council’s Economy Committee leading bids for the funding that resulted in the repairs and extension of the harbour master building and it’s so good to see that investment now being put to use by housing the new centre.”