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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 15:01 GMT
Stranraer to take casino gamble
Stranraer sea front
A casino could be part of regenerating Stranraer seafront
The ferry town of Stranraer has emerged as the preferred site for casino development in Dumfries and Galloway.

Local councillors dropped Gretna and selected the coastal site as their bidder for a gambling venue.

Members of the licensing board committee agreed the attraction could increase tourism from Northern Ireland which is getting no casino licences.

They feared cross-border competition from England may hamper Gretna's chances and dropped it from proposals.

The government is set to issue 17 casino licences across the UK and has been seeking expressions of interest.

Dumfries and Galloway councillors decided that waterfront regeneration in Stranraer made it the best potential location to bid for a casino.

A casino could certainly help to boost the regional economy but it is vital that the case for one should only be considered with the support of local people
Russell Brown
Dumfries and Galloway MP

Local Labour MP Russell Brown backed the proposals to consider bringing such a facility to the region.

"The case for Stranraer is particularly strong given the regeneration work that will be done on the waterfront in the next few years," he said.

"Having a small casino as a centre piece could really kick start that development.

"None of the casino licences will be issued in Northern Ireland so that's a huge market for Stranraer to tap into."

Mr Brown added that it was essential that the public was consulted before the plans moved forward.

"A casino could certainly help to boost the regional economy but it is vital that the case for one should only be considered with the support of local people," he added.


SEE ALSO:
South west makes its casino case
13 Mar 06 |  Scotland
1.2bn riverside plans unveiled
14 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Report considers casino options
18 Jan 06 |  Lancashire


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