1. ITV Report

Stranraer Skiffies brings £4million to local economy

Credit: SkiffeWorlds

The Skiffie World Championships brought up to £4million pounds to the local economy following its success in July, according to an independent economic impact study.

Teams from countries around the globe flocked to the Scottish coastal town of Stranraer in July to take part in competition. Participants from Europe, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Tasmania and the USAmade up some of the 30,000 visitors.

Special guests also included HRH The Princess Royal and Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

The study- Carried out by Stirling firm MKA Economics- analysed data provided by competitors and their supporters, spectating visitors, traders and local businesses.

It was concluded that the net additional economic impact to the local area was between £3.5million and £4million.

We welcome the findings of this independent report, not only for evidencing the positive impact SkiffieWorlds had on Stranraer and the surrounding area, but for making clear the opportunity for Stranraer to position itself as a leading water based leisure destination. We regard SkiffieWorlds as a huge success for Stranraer, and a large part of that is because of the coming together of the local community and the rowing community.

We have taken the report recommendations on board and are hoping to commission a full feasibility study in the near future to explore the potential for water based activity development in the town. We must seize the opportunity and build on the platform and profile that SkiffieWorlds has generated for Stranraer within the rowing community. As successful as SkiffieWorlds was, it is clearly only the beginning of Stranraer and Loch Ryan’s water sports story.

– David Davies, Chair of Stranraer Watersports Association

Visitors and competitors were also asked about the potential of Loch Ryan for water based activity development, its strengths and weaknesses compared to other water sport locations.

Participants said that Stranraer and Loch Ryan have tremendous potential to become a permanent location for water sport activities.

The local hospitality services and visitor were also praised, having been described as "safe, secure, sheltered and clean."

In terms of improvements, competitors highlighted the need for better water sports infrastructures such as pontoons and launches into the loch.

This is an important report because it captures the water sports potential of Stranraer and Loch Ryan from people who are already active and experienced in this field. The overriding comment from competitors during SkiffieWorlds, and in the feedback we have received since, is that the visitor facilities of Stranraer in such close proximity to the safe, sheltered and underused coastal waters of Loch Ryan is almost unique within the UK, which makes Stranraer a very attractive venue for major events and regattas in the future.

If we want to capitalise on that opportunity then we need to start planning now for how best to develop water based activity facilities. It’s fantastic to see such positive comments on SkiffieWorlds and such a high economic impact, but the really exciting aspect of this report is the development potential that evidences.

– Wendi Cuffe, Project Manager for SkiffieWorlds 2019