MP seeks coast-to-coast benefits from Borderlands

There needs to be coast-to-coast benefits going forward from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

That was the view of Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack as he welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond's confirmation this week that the landmark investment initiative would go-ahead.

Making his Spring Statement in the House of Commons, Mr Hammond revealed that the UK Government would contribute £260 million towards the cross-border funding package.

An allocation of £85 million from the Scottish Government takes total funding from taxpayers to £345 million, spread over more than a decade.

Mr Jack, a supporter of the project from the outset, was impressed by the 'partnership and strategic nature' of Borderlands which, he stated, was an investment the region's economy greatly needed.

But he said: "Whilst strategic and infrastructure projects with the most potential are top of the agenda it is important that progress is monitored carefully to ensure that all areas from Stranraer to Berwick are benefiting from the deal."

He also praised the close cross-border council collaboration by Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Carlisle City, Cumbria County and Northumberland which he believed were areas with a great deal in common, culturally and economically.

Mr Jack said: "Borderlands was a manifesto commitment and, working closely with parliamentary and other colleagues, I'm pleased we are now delivering on that pledge with a meaningful level of investment.

"It remains important though to continue pressing for other investment, from all funding sources, to further the much-needed projects such as Stranraer waterfront regeneration, enhancing town centres like Dumfries and improving vital road and rail links."