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Business Support Service Moves Town

A BUSINESS start-up support service has closed down in Stranraer.

Business Gateway is moving its help and advice office, with four staff, to Newton Stewart’s Galloway Business Centre in Victoria Street.

They provide information, advice and services to existing businesses and those wanting to start a new company.

Marie Findlay, a spokeswoman for Business Gateway, said the move was prompted by “efficiency saving”.

She said: “Any savings that are made will go straight back in to delivering a better service and improving training.”

Anyone wanting to use the service in the future will have to travel to Newton Stewart, or make appointments with advisers who can meet up in a cafe or restaurant in Stranraer.

But Stranraer Business Group chairman Sam Scobie said the decision “beggared belief”.

He said: “I think this is an appalling decision to make.

“For the second biggest town in the region now to be bereft of this service does not make economic sense. This is a town that is about to undergo regeneration in housing and the waterfront.

“And we have the fairly thriving Blackparks Industrial Estate which has had a lot of money put into it — and now a prop that supports businesses is being taken away?”

Newton Stewart Business Association welcomed the move.

Chairwoman Mary Prince said: “Newton Stewart is obviously a more central position for the area which can’t be anything but good for local businesses. And if it’s prudent to move here then they should because it’s public money they are spending.”

She added: “As long as it is there to offer a service to the community then that’s great.”

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