The UK and Scottish Governments and the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership have today signed off the ‘Heads of Terms’ for the £350million Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
An allocation of £150 million, equating to £85 million from the Scottish Government and £65 million from the UK Government, will directly benefit the South of Scotland, which will be split between Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council.
For D&G this will mean investment in a number of key projects across the whole of the area. Details will be developed along with business cases, but so far funding has been allocated as:
£8 million to develop a state-of-the-art Dairy Innovation Centre for education and innovation at the Scottish Rural University College.
£15.5 million to the Business infrastructure programme, including £7.5million from Scottish Government money, designated for Chapelcross matched with £7.8 million from the UK Government – a total investment of £15.3 million for the Chaplecross project. This will be a welcome investment for the Annan, Gretna, Lockerbie corridor and will ensure the continuation of partnership working with the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.
The redevelopment of Stranraer Marina, to reposition Stranraer and Loch Ryan as a destination, will be crucial. It is anticipated that up to £16million will be available for the transformation of the area, to attract further private investment and encourage wider regeneration, stimulate growth, provide quality employment, raise skills and therefore, salaries.
In addition to the above identified local projects, some will cover the Borderlands area as a whole:
The South of Scotland Skills and Learning network will be developed and will primarily concentrate on the visitor economy. Tourism is currently worth £330 million to our region, and this increases year on year.
A further £7 million will be used to develop skills and encourage people into work in the tourism and hospitality sector.
To promote tourism again, £31 million will be assigned to the theme of ‘Destination’. Primarily covering the Scottish side of the border, this will include the Tweed Route, from source to sea; starting at Moffat and running through the Borders and Northumberland
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “All projects will be subject to detailed business cases, but this is a welcome return for all of our hard work and investment to reach this point. Projects have already been identified for Borderlands’ funding as part of the initial proposal to Governments, it will not be available as grants or by requests for funding, but the benefits of our investments will benefit all and have a knock-on effect by increasing economic growth and attracting further private investment. To get this far has proved that there is strength in numbers and that we have built a cohesive partnership with the 4 other local authorities. “
Depute, Rob Davidson said: “Building the local economy is a top priority for this Council. Although some projects will be cross partnership, and cross borders, those within our region will benefit greatly by this boost in funding and I particularly welcome the funding for Stranraer. Some of the money will be used to enhance funding already allocated by Dumfries and Galloway Council, to bring developments to fruition or enhance what we have already established, but this will be across the whole of our region, benefitting all.”
For more information go to: www.borderlandsgrowth.com