Lighthouse Picture Competition


The Stranraer Development Trust conducted a competition incorporating local primary schools in January 2022.   The competition centred on the launched of the lighthouse tours which had been developed by the SDT.  Schools were asked to submit one drawing of a map of the 6 lighthouses incorporated in the lighthouse tours.  Upon the submission of entries, the drawings were displayed in Tesco in Stranraer from the 23rd of February for approx. 2 weeks.   An anonymous counter voting system was imposed, and a winner was announced on the 11th of March.


The winning school was Sandhead Primary. Nahla Mcmeikan, P7, who drew the winning design, and her classmates were invited to take part in an excursion to the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse as part of their prize.   On 12th of May, the children from Sandhead Primary, along with their teacher, Kelsey McWhirter the Youth Activities Engagement Officer, and Allan Jenkins, both staff members with the Stranraer Development Trust, visited the lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway.   All who attended received a tour of both the lighthouse tower and the exhibition centre, the children were able to learn all about the lighthouse and its history.   After completing the tour, the children headed to the Gallie Craig Tearoom, there the children ate their packed lunches provided by the school and were treated to some delicious ice-cream sundaes, provided by Gallie Craig.   Once we arrived back at Sandhead Primary School, the children were provided with various snacks, kindly provided by Sally Murray the Community Champion for Tesco in Stranraer.  The children all noted that they very much enjoyed their trip and had a great time.


The Stranraer Development Trust would like to thank the P7s from Sandhead Primary school and their teacher, Miss Paula Douglas, for taking part in the competition and the excursion, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse Board and staff for facilitating the tours and providing guides, the Gallie Craig Tearoom for hosting us for lunch and providing some delicious ice-cream sundaes, Sally Murray the Community Champion for supporting the competition throughout, Pete Robinson the photographer who captured the fantastic images and the ‘Scotland Loves Local’ funders who made the trip possible.

Pictures from the Lighthouse tour:

Are you ready to show the world what Stranraer’s young people can do?

Three days, thousands of people, think you can handle it?

Last year over 10,000 visitors LOVED  ?our Oyster Festival and this year’s event is set to be bigger and better. People said what they really LOVED ? about our Festival was the inclusion of young people helping to design and deliver such a high-profile event.

Whatever YOU love ? – sports, social media, food, fireworks, music, make-up, websites, walking, reporting or just supporting – there’s a volunteer role for you at Stranraer’s amazing Oyster Festival And just so you know….

Yes you can be in a team with your friends

Yes you can choose the times you want to volunteer

Yes you’ll get some great Festival merchandise

Yes you’ll be trained for your new role

Yes you’ll learn new skills to take into your future career

Yes you’ll make a real difference to our town

Yes you’ll have loads of fun!

Do you have to eat an oyster? That’s up to you! ?

Are you ready to show the world what Stranraer’s young people can do? Sign up NOW by going to our home page.

Max wins at Stranraer Show!

Well done to 8 year old Max Partington from Bolton who came closest in guessing how many pearls were in our wee treasure chest at Stranraer Show! Max guessed 1112 and there were actually 1160. He wins a £15 Argos voucher and a t-shirt. Max and his family regularly visit our area for holidays and maybe we’ll see them at the Oyster Festival in September! Well done, Max….we love your happy beach photo! 

Something fishy at Castle Kennedy Primary School!

Local chef Douglas Lisi scored a big hit when he taught a group of pupils from Castle Kennedy Primary School to make Thai fish cakes.  The children were all surprised by how much they enjoyed cooking and eating the fish cakes.  One pupil said “Even though I hate fish it was delicious….it was a very interesting experience and we all enjoyed it”




Autumn Events Generate £6 Million For Local Economy

A series of festivals and events in Dumfries and Galloway generated more than £6m for the local and Scottish economy in late 2018.

The analysis from Dumfries and Galloway Council shows that the 20thannual Wigtown Book Festival had an economic impact of £3.75m, the Electric Fields music festival £1.45m, the Stranraer Oyster Festival up to £1.1m and the Galloway Hills Rally £120,000.

The rural Scottish region is now gearing up for a bumper year of cultural tourism, international arts festivals and major sports events.

The events covered in the analysis are all funded by the council as part of its Major Events and Festivals Strategy 2018-2021.

Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Events Champion, said:The variety of events and the enthusiasm of the teams behind them is extraordinary – together they offer a foretaste of what we have to come in 2019.
“The oyster festival is just two years old and has already grown into a superb event with the potential to help regenerate Stranraer in the same way that the book festival has supported the economy of Wigtown over the last 20 years.
“Electric Fields is also going from strength to strength, with a superb line-up of performers and attracted more than 8,000 people to Drumlanrig last year. And the Galloway Hills Rally is absolutely thriving.
“Dumfries and Galloway’s is increasingly marking itself out as a region of high quality events and festivals and a superb place to visit for anyone who loves great food, literature, music and sport.”

These successful events, all in September, took place in the same year that saw the opening of the new £3.2m Kirkcudbright Galleries, which are home to the magnificent Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection which includes works by the likes of John Faed, Edward Atkinson Hornel, Jessie Marion King and Samuel John Peploe.

In 2019 Dumfries and Galloway will have more attractions than ever. The year will kick off with the Big Burns Supper festival, followed by the opening of the new National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling at Moat Brae House, Dumfries, in the spring.

In May and June there will be Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier open studios contemporary visual art and craft weekend, the 10-day Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival (celebrating its 40thyear), the Scottish Rally and the Eden Festival.

Electric Fields will be moving to an earlier date, taking place at Drumlanrig Castle from 4 to 6 July, 2019.

Alex Roberts, Director of Electric Fields,said:In 2018 we enjoyed our most successful year with our biggest capacity to date, but still maintained a special family-friendly atmosphere. To have the legendary Noel Gallagher perform at Drumlanrig Castle was a completely surreal experience and relished by all. 
“As part of our ever-growing event, the funding we receive from Dumfries and Galloway Council is invaluable. They share our vision and passion to evolve the D&G festival, tourism and economic scene. 
“We really feel Electric Fields is an event D&G deserves and the local feedback has been extremely encouraging. To bring attract such names as Noel Gallagher, James, Primal Scream and Dizzee Rascal is a real coup for the festival and the region.”

The Galloway Hills Rally is jointly run by Solway, Machars and East Ayrshire Car Clubs. In 2019 it will be the final round of the British Rally Championship, which will considerably raise its profile, prestige and visitor numbers.

Kirsty Riddick, a member of the organising committee, said: “Our 2019 event will be the 46th annual running of the rally, and is set to be our biggest yet, as we under take organising two separate events for the Scottish and British Rally Championships.
This will bring new challenges to our small but dedicated team, but we are up for the test. This would not be possible without the invaluable continued support of Dumfries & Galloway Council, and our title sponsors, The Armstrong Group.
We are excited to welcome BRC rallying back to Dumfries and Galloway, and we think it will be a great boost for the region.”

Stranraer Oyster Festival has become a high profile event in just two years, attracting 14,000 visitors in 2018 and raising awareness of Scotland’s native oysters, which are fished nearby.

Romano Petrucci, Chairman of the Stranraer Development Trust, which organises the festival said:The dedication of the organisers and staff, and the overwhelming support of the local community, has ensured that SOF has changed the story of the town forever.”

Wigtown is Scotland’s National Book Town and the festival has grown into a successful and much-loved feature in the country’s annual events calendar.

Finn McCreath, Vice Chair of Wigtown Festival Company, said:The 20thfestival was an outstanding event, attracting record visitor numbers and ticket sales. 
“It really shows how the public sector can work with communities to develop cultural events that are highly successful in attracting visitors, promoting the arts and regenerating local economies.
“In 2019 we will come of age, with our 21stfestival, and are really looking forward to doing even more to promote a love of reading and literature, and to highlight Dumfries and Galloway as a place to visit.”

DGC’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy is supported by VisitScotland.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:“Dumfries and Galloway has gone from strength-to-strength as an events destination over the years. 
“The likes of Electric Fields, Stranraer Oyster Festival and Wigtown Book Festival have generated fantastic economic and social benefits both locally and nationally and helped reaffirm Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

Original article from DGWGO

Stranraer oyster festival ‘worth £1m’

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.”

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.

BBC News

Image by Peter Robinson

Stranraer Oyster Festival 2021 Cancelled

Stranraer Oyster Festival 2021, one of Scotland’s biggest food festivals, has announced it will not take place this year due to continuing uncertainty over the impact of Covid-19.

In 2019 the three day community-run festival attracted more than 17,000 people to the shores of Loch Ryan, home of Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery. The festival celebrates the town’s native oyster heritage and hosts the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship, alongside a programme of entertainment and activities.

The 2021 festival had been scheduled for 10th – 12th September, and it was hoped that ongoing easing of Covid restrictions might allow for a major gathering of people in the autumn of this year.  However, festival organisers, Stranraer Development Trust, announced this morning that the 2021 event has been cancelled.

Romano Petrucci, Chair of Stranraer Development Trust, said:

“Despite our best intentions, and with the clear knowledge that our community is desperate for a boost and some good news, the Board of Stranraer Development Trust are sorry to announce the cancellation of this year’s Stranraer Oyster Festival.

“We have been working very hard behind the scenes to explore approaches that might allow our festival to return this year.  We carried out a very thorough examination of all the possibilities, but circumstances make it impossible for us to guarantee a festival that is safe for our community and safe for our visitors at this time.

“Hosting Stranraer Oyster Festival is a huge undertaking for our community and it involves a great deal of planning in advance. It is of course tempting to be optimistic, and to hope that circumstances in September will be different, but as a community organisation we have a responsibility to put the community first. Postponing making a decision about this year’s festival till July or August simply is not an option.

“We had an incredible headline guest lined up, and that has made this decision all the harder. In that regards, a huge thanks must go to Doug McLean and his team at the Scottish International Airshow, as well as the many, many people the Trust have engaged with these last few months as we attempted to find the reassurances and confidences we needed to make our decision.

“By the time 2022 and the next planned Stranraer Oyster Festival comes around, it will be a staggering and very sobering three years since we last all gathered for such a wonderful weekend celebrating our local oysters. For now, all we can do is apologise for this year’s cancellation and wish each and every one of you a safe, happy and healthy summer.”

Stranraer Oyster Festival 2023

Stranraer Oyster Festival 2023, will be one of Scotland’s biggest food festivals which will see the hugely popular event return for the three day community-run festival, which in 2022 attracted more than 18,000 people to the shores of Loch Ryan, home of Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery. The festival celebrates the town’s native oyster heritage and hosts the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship, alongside a programme of entertainment and activities.

STRANSFORM – Stranraer Street Art Trail


In association with the Dumfries & Galloway Regional Arts Fund and Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of the Arts 2019/20, Stranraer Development Trust will be developing and overseeing the delivery of the Stransform project, which will incorporate artistic multimedia elements in and around Stranraer by local artists and youth for creating more positive and inviting spaces about the town.

The STRANSFORM Art Project aims to promote the regeneration of Stranraer through the public displaying of 8 artwork pieces around the centre of Stranraer.  It is the hope that the public showcasing of the art pieces will encourage the public to take an interest in and engage with the regeneration process within Stranraer.

A total of 22 young people contributed towards the project, including 14 individuals from the Better Lives Partnership and 7 young people who were either already enrolled at the college or at Stranraer Academy.  7 out of the 8 artwork pieces have been created by a group of local young people who have also been completing a National Progression Award in Art and Design.  The remaining piece has been created by Diana Hamilton, a practising Artist and NPA course lecturer with Dumfries and Galloway College, Stranraer Campus.

In order to help gain some artistic inspiration, an excursion to the Gallery of Modern Art was conducted on the 14th of February 2022.   The young people were given a tour around the gallery and the opportunity to practice a print making technique.  Feedback from the excursion has been excellent and is believed that the experience has been of great benefit to the young people’s development.  Some pictures taken during the excursion are available to view in the Stranraer Youth Development Team Gallery section


After the creation of the 8 art pieces, the STRANSFORM Art Trail was developed and launched on the 16th of April 2022.  The trail incorporates all 8 locations containing one of the art pieces.

The trail is still available to complete, leaflets and maps of the trail are available at the Gateway to Galloway Community Hub on Market Street.

Artworks from the trail 

Click on each image to see a larger version.:

*Please note the art piece for ‘the Alleyway off Hanover Street’ is no longer available to view in person however can be viewed below*

A short video of the trail provided by Calvin Ferries: