South Scotland

Stranraer 'wasteland' fears over ferry port closure

Image caption Stena Line has moved out of the ferry port in Stranraer to a site nearer the mouth of Loch Ryan

The Scottish government has been urged to make sure a former ferry port is not left as an "industrial wasteland".

First Minister Alex Salmond heard fears for the future of Stranraer waterfront after Stena Line moved its facilities nearer the mouth of Loch Ryan.

Local Tory MSP Alex Fergusson welcomed the investment in the new port.

However, he added: "Stena's move leaves the town of Stranraer with what is effectively an industrial wasteland at its waterfront."

Mr Fergusson asked Mr Salmond during First Minister's Questions to ensure that "every resource available" was given to Dumfries and Galloway Council to help regenerate the town.

His comments were made the day before Mr Salmond is due to officially open the new terminal.

The final ferries sailed from Stranraer at the weekend before the switch to the £200m Port Ryan facility.

'Substantial opportunities'

Mr Salmond said: "It's a huge and substantial investment which consolidates the future of that ferry service as a Euro route and maintains many, many jobs in the south west of Scotland.

"I recognise the move to Port Ryan raises challenges for Stranraer.

"But there are also - as the local member knows, because we've discussed the issue - substantial opportunities in that port front, which is an unrivalled location for a series of developments which offer great promise."

He welcomed the council's vision to change the port area and added: "This government will be fully engaged and involved in bringing these plans to reality."

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