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Aims of multi-million pound Borderlands scheme agreed

Credit: PA

A multi-million pound growth deal for the Scottish Borders, Cumbria and southern Scotland has been signed.

Ministers from the UK and Scottish governments have put pen to paper in Peebles this morning and signed heads of terms. It is seen as a significant milestone.

The £395m scheme aims to attract tourists to the area, boost business and it is expected to create more than 5,500 jobs.

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Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City councils is covering the cost and have agreed to put £45m each into the deal.

It looks at extending the Borders Railway beyond Tweedbank as well as:

  • £16.2m is to be invested in digital connectivity, which will aim to improve broadband speeds and drive economic activity.
  • A £19m Mountain Bike Innovation Centre in the Tweed Valley.
  • Work on a cross-border study for the A1 corridor as well as exploring an integrated transport system.

“Every penny of this £395m investment is set to benefit the whole Borderlands region by bringing in thousands of jobs, millions more visitors and improving connectivity.

“I am particularly pleased that the Borders Railway extension will receive this £10m boost for a full study into how we can bring the line to Hawick, Newcastleton and on to Carlisle.

“Less tangible but equally important is the investment in broadband, tourism, business and energy which the whole of the Borders is set to benefit from.”

– John Lamont, MP

The papers signed in Peebles highlight parts of the scheme each government supports and is not legally binding.

Funding will be delivered over 10 years by the Scottish government and 15 years from the UK government.