MP predicts Borderlands boost for constituency

A multi-million pound investment package confirmed this week will be a vital shot in the arm for the region.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack, whose constituency stretches from Dumfries to Stranraer, praised the Borderlands Growth Deal heads of terms agreement which was signed on Monday.

Mr Jack said: "I particularly welcome the investment in the redevelopment of the Stranraer Marina, which will be a key component in making the town and wider Loch Ryan area a significant tourism destination.

"Funding of up to £16 million will go a long way to transforming the area and hopefully attract additional private sector investment to speed up regeneration and the creation of more jobs.

"Investment in maximising the 7stanes mountain biking network, which includes Forest of Ae, Mabie, Dalbeattie and Glentrool in my constituency, should boost visitor numbers in this fast-expanding sector.

"Agriculture is vital to our economy and I'm delighted a £4 million Dairy Research and Innovation Centre will be established in the region which should enhance the industry locally and further afield."

Mr Jack, who attended the signing ceremony at Glentress Mountain Bike Centre, near Peebles, has been a supporter of the Borderlands concept since it was first mooted.

He welcomed the co-operation between the UK and Scottish governments and that the delivery partners were the local authorities on both sides of the border.

"It acknowledges the Borderlands is a single natural economic entity at the heart of Britain and by working closely together we can potentially achieve much more," said Mr Jack.

"Substantial extra investment in improving digital connectivity and, in addition, a skills and learning network will help the whole area.

"In addition, major neighbouring projects such as the business park at Chapelcross and the Star of Caledonia at Gretna, will, I believe, also have a positive knock-on effect on my constituency."

Mr Jack added that Borderlands and also the creation of a South of Scotland Enterprise agency were amongst the most positive developments for the local economy he could remember in the region for many years.