Stranraer Harbourmaster’s Building Heritage Interpretation

Stranraer Harbourmaster’s Building Heritage Interpretation Commission


The Harbourmaster’s building on Stranraer waterfront has been the subject of a significant restoration and extension project as part of the CARS project enabled by funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council (DGC). The building is a prominent landmark on Stranraer waterfront occupying a central position at the head of Loch Ryan between the sea and the town. The 1930’s Art Deco style of the original building is distinctive and unusual in the local context with the clocktower adding to the impact the building creates despite its tiny footprint. Originally the Harbourmaster’s office and weighbridge for goods entering and leaving the harbour, the building has been extended to create a more functional space now occupied by Stranraer Development Trust (SDT) and fulfilling the role of Gateway to Galloway. As well as being important in architectural and industrial terms, the Harbourmaster’s building has a rich social history, having been a historic meeting point for people who gathered for informal dances and to enjoy the waterfront on summer evenings. The old Harbourmaster’s building and weighbridge including the Avery scales are Category C Listed reflecting the importance of the building and its significant part in Stranraer’s heritage.

SDT and CARS are commissioning work to create heritage interpretation material for the old Harbourmaster’s building. The primary focus is on the inside of this tiny building which will be open to the public during the opening hours of the adjoining visitor centre. If possible, consideration could be given to the interest the building provides for people passing by in the evening when it is closed.

The aim is to create an enjoyable experience for visitors, both local and from further afield, which enhances understanding of the history of the Harbourmaster’s building and fosters a sense of celebration of the marine and coastal heritage of the area. A prescriptive approach to the form that interpretation takes is not being set out with the brief being open to the imagination and creativity of prospective contractors. Possible approaches may include film, old photographs, new photography, artwork, collecting stories, newspaper articles, archival footage, artefacts, projections, and/or more conventional information panels. The built heritage and the history of the building must be a component of the interpretive theme or themes adopted but there is scope beyond that to perhaps focus on people/a person, a particular period, the natural maritime and coastal environment or the links between land and sea.

The weighbridge no longer functions but this is a key aspect of the original purpose for the building and there may be artefacts such as old weights and measures which could form part of the interpretive offer (this would be subject to further discussion and agreement from relevant sources). Interpretation could link with a wider initiative such as the Rhins Coast Path project. Or you may have another idea altogether?

DGC are looking for a complete service including creation and installation of interpretation material within the building.

For full tender details please contact The tender return deadline is Wednesday 22nd March at 12 noon.