Borderlands deal could be game-changer

The Secretary of State for Scotland has stressed the importance of the Borderlands Growth Deal for delivering an economic boost to cross-border communities.

Monday, 24th July 2017, 8:48 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 11:49 am
David Mundell MP
David Mundell MP

David Mundell, Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, believes it could be a real game-changer for the region.

He said: “One of my top priorities is ensuring that the Conservative manifesto commitment of a Borderlands Growth Deal is delivered for this region.

“It has the potential to be a real game-changer in terms of boosting the infrastructure and skills across the Borders, and the manifesto pledge was very welcome, showing that the UK Government recognises the importance of driving economic growth in the south of Scotland.

“In order to grow the Borders economy, I believe it is absolutely vital that we work far more closely with our neighbours across the border in Northumberland and Cumbria in order to deliver real opportunities in terms of jobs and investment.

“The Borderlands Growth Deal will be similar to the City Deals that have been delivered across Scotland in recent years, and the funding could be used to deliver major upgrades on transport routes, as well as bringing further new businesses to Tweeddale and the rest of the Borders.

“Alongside the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which was recently announced by the Scottish Government, this has real potential to see the economic interests of the Borders properly represented, which is long overdue following years of being overlooked in favour of the Central Belt.

“Working closely with my fellow Borders MP John Lamont and MSPs Rachael Hamilton and Michelle Ballantyne, as well as other local Conservative representatives, I hope to see the deal delivered as soon as possible to deliver great boosts to the rural economy of this region.”

In April, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet welcomed progress taken to develop the Borderlands initiative, particularly in raising awareness of the economic challenges and opportunities of the area with both the UK and Scottish Governments. It hoped the partnership could accelerate priority projects.