Scottish Government commits ‘up to £85m’ to Borderlands growth deal
River Teviot, Hawick, Scottish Borders - Image credit: Daniel via Flickr
The Scottish Government has announced it will invest up to £85m over 10 years in a Borderlands growth deal and is calling on the UK Government to match the funding.
The proposed deal would be the first cross-border arrangement of its kind, bringing together five local authorities in the south of Scotland and the north of England.
The funding will support a range of projects proposed by the cross-local authority Borderlands Partnership to drive economic growth and improve infrastructure across the region.
Made up of members of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council and Northumberland County Council, the Borderlands Partnership has set out priority areas including digital connectivity, tourism, regeneration and skills.
The specific projects to be supported will be announced in the coming months, but a key one will be looking at the feasibility of extending the Borders Railway to Carlisle.
The partnership has also set out the ambition to make the region the UK’s first gigabit city region and its first zero carbon city region.
Announcing the Scottish Government’s commitment, infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson said: “I am delighted to confirm that the Scottish Government is investing up to £85 million in the Borderlands Deal to support and develop the south of Scotland economy.
“Alongside the establishment of a new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland, and the activity being taken forward by the south of Scotland economic partnership, this investment will help to drive inclusive growth that delivers significant and lasting economic benefits for individuals, businesses and communities right across the region.
“I call on the UK Government to match our financial commitment, over the same timescale of ten years, to deliver a package of transformational investment that will harness the region’s full economic potential.”