South Scotland

Stranraer oyster festival 'worth £1m'

Nick Nairn Image copyright Peter Robinson
Image caption Nick Nairn was among those taking part in this year's edition of the festival

An independent study has found an oyster festival in south west Scotland generated about £1m for the economy.

The second edition of the event was held in Stranraer in September and attracted 14,000 visitors.

It represented a 40% rise on 2017 and the number of people staying in the town also showed an increase.

Mark Kummerer of MKA Economics, who carried out the research, said the event had generated more than double the economic impact of the first one.

"The second hosting of the Stranraer Oyster Festival was a greater success than the inaugural event," he said.

"The festival attracted a much larger audience with more visitors from outside the region.

"There was a considerable increase in the number of visitors staying overnight and there was a big uplift in average spend."

Image copyright Peter Robinson
Image caption Visitor numbers were up significantly at this year's festival

Romano Petrucci, who chairs the Stranraer Development Trust which runs the festival, said: "This is a staggering economic impact figure and it highlights just how important Stranraer Oyster Festival has become to our town in just a few short years.

"While we knew that the 2018 Stranraer Oyster Festival was a big success, we were blown away by the economist's findings, so much so that we asked him to double check those figures just to be sure, which he did.

"This research demonstrates the power that communities have when they pull together to imagine a positive, more ambitious future."

However, he stressed that the town needed to be made "more accessible" and said the trust would "fight endlessly" to see the local transport network improved.

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