Stranraer’s First Oyster Festival a Massive Success

We are proud and delighted to have been able to support Stranraer Development Trust to create the immensely successful first Stranraer Oyster Festival.

Oysters all round!

Organisers have hailed the event a ‘massive success that exceeded all expectations’, with over 10,000 people visiting during the weekend.

Famous Faces

Mr Bloom wows the crowd

The three day festival saw sell out performances, demonstrations and events, with crowds flocking to see Hardeep Singh Kohli, Mr Bloom from Cbeebies and local spectacles, like the giant seafood paella created by John Henry of Henrys Bay House Restaurant. More than 500 people took part in the inaugural Big Oyster Bash at North West Castle, a highlight of which was a rendition of Bonnie Gallowa’ by 17 year old Stranraer Academy pupil Kathleen McClenaghan.

Three Thousands Oysters Consumed!

Three thousand oysters (a third of a tonne), were consumed over the weekend, many of them by people who had never tried an oyster before, including many local children. Market stall holders sold out completely of pies, cakes and sticky toffee puddings, 150 kites were designed and flown by young visitors to the festival and feedback from local accommodation providers suggests the area was fully booked within a 20 mile radius of Stranraer.

Romano Petrucci, Chairman of Stranraer Development Trust, who organised the festival, said:
“The Festival was incredible and it shows just what can be achieved when our community works together. I heard a comment by a visitor that this was the weekend when Stranraer fell back in love with the sea. Our beautiful town has always had an affinity with Loch Ryan and with the sea, but when the ferries left town our connection with the water went with it. We lost a bit of our identity, but our first Oyster Festival has given us that back.

Live music at the festival

“We may no longer be a ferry town, instead we are now a destination to visit rather than a place to travel through. Our oysters have helped us to craft a new identity for our town. Stranraer will quickly become known as a tourism and food destination, somewhere to visit for incredible seafood, warm hospitality and stunningly beautiful vistas.

“Feedback from local businesses is overwhelmingly positive, with increased sales across the board and many businesses reporting record breaking sales. We are inspired and excited by the potential of Stranraer Oyster Festival and we have already come up with a host of ideas for how to make it bigger, better and more delicious next year.”

Celebrating Stranraer’s Seafood Heritage

Families enjoying fresh seafood

Stranraer Oyster Festival is Scotland’s first major oyster celebration. It was designed to celebrate the seafood heritage of Stranraer, including Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery in Loch Ryan.

The festival also hosted the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship in partnership with Seafood Scotland. The hotly contested competition saw local oyster expert Tristan Hugh-Jones of Loch Ryan Oysters win the title. He went on to represent Scotland in the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway.

Click here for more about our work with Stranraer Development Trust.

Derelict Barholm pub is transformed

BARHOLM – BRAND NEW EN-SUITE, AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE IN CREETOWN

We are excited to announce that Barholm Accommodation is now open for bookings! Barholm offers pleasant, comfortable accommodation to suit shared occupancy, as well as double and single private rooms, all en-suite.

Perfect for families, couples, travellers, visitors, outdoor enthusiasts and dogs are welcome too!

Contact bookings.barholm@gmail.com or phone 01671 820810

Big welcome to our new staff

Creetown Initiative welcomes new staff members:-

Elaine Marr, Accounts

Elaine is a Director/Company Secretary of WRDC, after working there for over 32 years as a full time employee – running the Trust on a day to day basis, giving out loans, client interviews, project work/management (on behalf of the Council and Scottish Enterprise, including Foot and Mouth loan project management), tourist information point, etc. She now runs WRDC from home and works part time for Creetown Initiative as an administrator/accounts lady.  She enjoys cruise holidays, so runs a cruise/holiday franchise in her ‘spare’ time.

 

Jenny Adams, Manager, Barholm

Jenny is the Centre Manager, and has been responsible for beautifully fitting out the accommodation rooms, she is extremely particular about cleanliness, so guests can expect the highest standards.

 

Panny Watson, Barholm Centre Assistant Manager

Panny is second in command of the Barholm Centre and is a Mr Fixit, he can turn his hand to anything.

 

Ben Herries, Barholm Project Worker

Ben is the project worker for the Barholm Centre he runs the cycle hire and cycle repair centre as well as the community shop.  Ben also helps out with the accommodation.  He is a member of the Creetown Football Club.

 

Harvey is the new Marketing Assistant for Creetown Initiative.  He’s been working on the marketing for the Barholm Enterprise Centre, amongst other things for the Initiative. He studied Communication, Advertising and PR at Napier University before moving back down home to Dumfries and Galloway. He splits his time between working in the Creetown Initiative office and as part of the Wigtown Festival Company.

Visit to Kingussie planned for our latest consultancy contract

The Am Fasgadh Regeneration Company (Kingussie) Ltd or ARC are looking to continue the potential development of The Cairngorm Centre in Kingussie. ARC wishes to build on the work of a feasibility study and have appointed Creetown Initiative to undertake a rigorous assessment of the potential markets for the centre, its place within these markets and from that develop a robust business plan, particularly looking at financial viability and sustainability.

Creetown Initiative will be carrying out:-

  • Market research into all target markets for the centre
    Assessing the demand for a high quality tourism facility within the Cairngorms National Park
  • Develop a portfolio of possible funders and their requirements for the project
  • Analysis of likely income from the centre
  • Marketing strategy to support the development
  • Produce a business plan using the feasibility study and market research that can be used by the ARC board of directors to support the transfer of the site from The Highland Council

Clan Hannay Society choose Creetown Initiative!

Clan Hannay Society have chosen Creetown Initiative to carry out an options appraisal of Sorbie Tower.

Sorbie Tower, the ancient seat of Clan Hannay, is an L shaped 15th century tower house which was restored to the Clan’s ownership in 1965.  Since that time the Clan has maintained the tower house as a preserved ruin.

Realising that historic preserved ruins are expensive to maintain and give few options for bringing in an income, the Clan are now exploring possible uses for the Tower and surrounds, with the ultimate aim of fully restoring the building.  A conservation management plan and scoping study have already been carried out, the next stage being the options appraisal.

Manager of Creetown Initiative, Andrew Ward is “delighted to get involved with a significant local heritage project which also ties in with other work being done with local groups such as The Whithorn Trust”