After a year in the planning, a multi-million-pound proposal to provide significant investment to the Borderlands has formally been submitted to UK and Scottish Governments.
The Deal’s proposals, which support a wide range of innovative projects, were submitted by the Borderlands Partnership; a unique collaboration that brings together the five cross-border local authorities – Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council.
Following the commitment of both Scottish and UK Governments the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal has gained significant momentum. The Strategic Outline Business Cases – the first stage in developing the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal – were sent to the UK and Scottish Governments on Friday, 28 September.
A Borderlands Partnership spokesperson said: “This is a key milestone for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and we’re delighted to have reached the stage where the Deal proposal has been formally submitted. Over the past few months we’ve worked tirelessly with a range of stakeholders and the UK and Scottish Governments to co-develop our business cases and the overall Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal proposal. Detailed negotiations will now continue with both Governments to agree Heads of Terms to establish the foundation of the final Deal.”
Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP said: “The Borderlands Partnership should be congratulated for the huge amount of work they have put in to reach this important milestone in such a short time. I’d like to thank all the partners for submitting these project proposals and look forward to moving towards an agreement as quickly as possible.
“The Borderlands Growth Deal is a genuinely innovative initiative and has the potential to transform the economy of the whole region, both in the South of Scotland and across the border, creating jobs and increasing prosperity.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “We are moving closer to a truly historic Borderlands Growth Deal which will deliver investment, create jobs and drive economic growth in the Northern Powerhouse and across the Borderlands region. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our local partners to do a deal which delivers on these key economic priorities, increasing productivity and advancing cross-border collaboration.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP said: “The Scottish Government is committed to working towards a Borderlands deal that will drive inclusive growth, delivering real economic benefit for individuals, businesses and communities across the region. We look forward to discussing the detail of what could form a Heads of Terms agreement for the Borderlands Deal over the coming weeks.”
UK Borderlands Champion, John Stevenson MP, added: “The submission of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a very significant moment for our region. It is a unique opportunity for the area which I believe is only the start of an economic revival. The councils, partners and politicians have all played their part in producing this exciting initiative and the Government should, I believe, respond in a positive way to ensure we maximise the benefits for the region.”
The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal proposal comprises four place-based projects and six programmes, that will deliver benefit across the wider Borderlands geography as well as highlighting areas where the Borderlands partners are seeking to work jointly with the UK and Scottish Governments linked to strategic transport schemes and land and marine management.
Key programmes that will deliver benefit across the wider Borderlands are Borderlands Energy Investment Company, Digital Borderlands, Quality of Place, Destination Borderlands, Business Infrastructure Programme and Knowledge Exchange Network.
In addition, the key strategic project of establishing the feasibility of extending the Borders Railway from Carlisle to Tweedbank will benefit the whole region.
The four-specific place-based projects are Carlisle Station Gateway, redevelopment for the site of the former Chapelcross power station, Berwick Theatre and Conference Centre and the Mountain Bike (MTB) Innovation Centre in the Scottish Borders.