Dumfries and Galloway Council and neighbouring councils in the Scottish Borders, Cumbria, Carlisle and Northumberland today signed the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
The £452m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a unique, cross border collaboration to deliver a multi-million-pound investment to Dumfries and Galloway over 10 years. With inclusive and sustainable growth at its heart, the Deal aims to improve the long-term prosperity of communities while enhancing the environment of the whole region.
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, split between Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council. For Dumfries and Galloway, this will mean a total investment in our region of approximately £85million.
Aspects of the Deal are still being developed, but some of the confirmed key projects include:
Our region, like others in Borderlands, relies heavily on tourism and the Destination theme within the Deal includes investment in Stranraer Marina. This will bring new jobs to the area and will also help Stranraer redefine itself as a destination with a wide offer for tourists and locals alike. Active engagement is underway with other projects and initiatives in the area which are complementary to the Marina project. Up to £16m will be available through the Borderlands Deal for the transformation of the area, which will attract further public and private sector investment and encourage wider regeneration, stimulate growth and provide quality employment.
The Energy Theme includes the redevelopment of the former nuclear power station at Chapelcross, near Annan, as a strategic green-energy focussed employment site, bringing new business and jobs to the region. This welcome investment totalling £21m from the UK and Scottish Governments and local partners will benefit the Annan, Gretna, Lockerbie corridor and will ensure the continuation of partnership working with the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.
Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria are home to 13% of the UK’s dairy herd and our local economy is very dependent on this sector. The Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) is sponsoring the creation of the Dairy Nexus at the Barony College, developing research and innovation to decarbonise forage-based dairy farming, optimise milk composition and production while safeguarding animal wellbeing, and add value through biorefining milk, grass and manure. This project will receive £8m of funding from the Deal.
£4m will be invested to improve and extend the 7Stanes network of mountain bike trails in Dumfries and Galloway, enhancing the experience for existing and potential users.
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “I am delighted that we are now at the stage of signing the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. This is the culmination of three years of hard work and shared ambition to produce the first cross-border deal and the largest UK growth deal to date. The Deal will improve connectivity, deliver skills and innovation, and support the longer-term resilience of our towns and communities. This in turn will help attract new residents and new employment opportunities, and welcome more visitors to our region.
“We anticipate that the Deal will deliver an additional 5,500 jobs to the Borderlands, attract over four million extra tourists, unlock investment in our towns, and boost the region’s economy by £1.1billion. This Deal will make a very significant contribution to the economic growth of Dumfries and Galloway, attracting further investment, improving our towns and benefitting the whole of our region.”