McLeod hails “ambitious action plan for the South”

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SNP Candidate for Galloway & West Dumfries Aileen McLeod today (Friday) warmly welcomed the announcement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney of five key pledges for the South of Scotland, which include a £6m funding commitment to Stranraer Waterfront and further improvements to the A75 and A77, calling the package “an ambitious action plan for the South”.

Speaking following the announcement, Aileen said:

“Today’s announcement of an ambitious action plan for the South, and for Galloway & West Dumfries in particular, is very welcome indeed and a clear demonstration of the SNP’s commitment to this region.

“The commitment of £6 million to support the regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront is a crucial step in taking forward the regeneration masterplan, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. I also warmly welcome the commitment to lower rail fares on the Stranraer rail line and future improvements to the A77 and A75, which are crucial transport links for our region.

“We are also committed to wider development, with the commitment to a Rural Housing Fund and piloting rural development and infrastructure plans. We will also invest in flood protection plans, give coastal communities full control over Crown Estate revenues and promote the South as the fantastic tourist destination we all know it to be.

“To boost Dumfries’s status as the regional capital and grow its economy we will also improve the links between the town and the M74.

“Taken as a whole, this is a fantastic package for the South of Scotland which I am confident will make a massive different to this region over the next five years. We’re serious in our ambitions for the South West of Scotland – but only by casting both votes for the SNP on 5th May can we ensure these are delivered in full.”

Notes to Editors:

The South of Scotland action plan commitments are set out below:

1. Redevelopment

  • Investing £6 million to revitalise the waterfront in Stranraer.

2. Connectivity

  • Improving journey times on the A77, delivering further improvements to the A75 and in connecting Dumfries to the M74.

  • Examining the extension of the Borders Railway via Hawick to Carlisle.

  • Committing to cheaper fares on all routes to Stranraer.

  • Ensuring 100% of premises have access to superfast broadband by 2021.

3. Tourism

  • Recognising the world-class offering of South West Scotland in its heritage, culture and creative arts, wildlife and green tourism, and local food and drink – and committing to further promoting the region as a visitor destination.

4. Environment and flood prevention

  • Investing in flood prevention, including planting woodland, and assist in water basin management – to protect homes and the environment.

5. Homes and communities

  • Piloting rural infrastructure and development plans in the South West of Scotland and continuing to apply a presumption against rural school closures.

  • Empowering coastal communities with control over spending from Crown Estate revenues.

  • Investing £25 million in a Rural Housing Fund, building new affordable homes and allowing young people and families to make their lives in rural communities, with a further focus on bringing empty and derelict building into use for housing.