Stranraer Oyster Festival – Official 2017 Dates!

Creetown Initiative can now reveal the official 2017 dates of the Stranraer Oyster Festival – 15th – 17th September!

Since November 2015 we have been working with Stranraer Development Trust to secure funds and support them to develop a Stranraer Oyster Festival – major annual international festival that will celebrate not only the famous Loch Ryan oysters (Scotland’s only wild, native oyster bed) but also all other local produce.

Unique to Stranraer

The unique natural resource of Loch Ryan Oysters is an asset to the town that is not currently used to its full potential.  At present oyster are sent around the world but the connection with Stranraer is not recognised. The festival provides the opportunity to make this connection, increase visitor numbers to the town and support the economy of both the town and surrounds. Although the event will be called the Stranraer Oyster Festival and they will certainly be the headline, all local produce from land and sea will be included, thereby supporting all local producers.

Oysters are considered a luxury food, but oyster festivals are by no means elitist. Oyster festivals tend to take the oyster as a focal point and then create a celebration of local food, local culture and the local community around it. As Scotland’s only wild and native oyster fishery there is a huge opportunity here for Stranraer to use its unique oyster and coastal heritage to create a festival of national significance.

New Jobs and Community Support

A fantastic sum has been secured by Chris Hanna, one of our project workers, to fund all aspects of the Stranraer Oyster Festival and has allowed the Trust to employ a Festival Officer, a Youth Programme Co-ordinator and a Festival Assistant. An oyster festival has been talked about for some time by various groups and organisations and we know from initial talks that there is excitement and huge support for the event.

Other projects we have helped Stranraer Development Trust to carry out to date include Stranraer in Bloom floral enhancements and the setting up of a Resilience Fund.

 

Stranraer in Bloom

Creetown Initiative has supported the development of ‘Stranraer in Bloom’ , as part of our work with Stranraer Development Trust. £10,000 was raised from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme to purchase specially designed self-watering planters for the town centre of Stranraer.  The funds also paid for compost and plants to create a range of floral enhancements around the town. Now, and additional £5,000 has been secured from the Tesco Bags of Help fund to put further planters along the seafront.

Community Help

Stranraer in Bloom is a project that encourages volunteers of all ages from the community to help maintain and water the planters and make Stranraer a beautiful place to live and visit. Six young people from Belmont Primary School (pictured below), along with the gardening club leader Mr Dougie Hannah helped the Trust to plant up the flower bed in Market Street and have done a fantastic job!

It is great to see the community of Stranraer to work together to help improve the facilities, economy and community spirit of their town.