South Scotland

Stranraer business improvement district proposal rejected

Stranraer Image copyright Andy Farrington
Image caption Businesses in Stranraer voted against the plans which it was claimed would help boost "commercial potential"

Businesses in Stranraer have voted down plans to create an "improvement district" in the town.

It would have seen a levy collected from traders and used to fund projects to boost its "commercial potential".

A ballot required a majority of businesses to vote in favour and that they represent more than 50% of the rateable value of votes cast.

That target was met in terms of rateable value but 83 businesses voted against the plan with 78 in favour.

The vote for the Stranaer Business Improvement District (BID) was held on Friday.

The rateable values of the businesses in favour was more than £1m with more than £550,000 against.

'Thriving centre'

However, the majority of the 161 qualifying ballot papers returned were against the scheme.

Colin Smyth, who chairs Dumfries and Galloway Council's economy, environment and infrastructure committee, said it remained determined to improve the town despite the result.

"As far as the council is concerned, the outcome of the vote does not change our commitment to regenerating and investing in Stranraer," he said.

"Building the local economy is the number one priority of this council.

"The regeneration of our towns is an important part of this.

"The council is committed to working with the people and businesses of Stranraer to help make the town attractive, enterprising and the thriving centre that we know it can be."

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