The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal has been formally signed and will bring in up to £452m of fresh investment to the Borderlands area of northern England and southern Scotland.
Ministers of the both the UK and Scottish governments and representatives of the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership (Carlisle, Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, Northumberland and Scottish Borders) signed the deal at a virtual ceremony.
The long-term benefits of the deal will reach all parts of the Borderlands area, driving inclusive growth and delivering significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities.
The deal is truly distinctive, as it covers the largest geographical area of any regional growth deal negotiated with the UK and Scottish governments and is the first cross-border deal.
It will bring a transformative step change for the businesses and communities of the area by increasing productivity, growing the working age population and delivering a more inclusive economy.
The projects of the deal aim to deliver up to 5,500 jobs and £1.1bn of additional GVA with a sustainable and inclusive approach to growth.
Commenting, Leader of Carlisle City Council and Borderlands Partnership Board Co-Chair, Councillor John Mallinson said: “It’s fantastic to announce the signing of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal bringing fresh investment from government of up to £350m to our region, alongside local contributions of over £100m.
“The deal is an ambitious approach to cross-border working between governments, local authorities and other partners, which will boost economic growth by helping existing business, encouraging new ventures and bringing a wealth of improvements to our region.
“The deal will also provide crucial support to our region’s recovery from the Covid-19 emergency and ensure we set in place strong foundations on which to build back better and greener, delivering inclusive and sustainable growth.”
Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance and Co-Chair of the Borderlands Partnership Board, Councillor Mark Rowley added:
“The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal will have a transformational impact on the whole region, with the aim of creating 5,500 jobs, bringing in over four million extra tourists and improving mobile and digital connections thanks to the funding from the two governments and the additional investment the deal will attract.
“The unlocking of investment in our towns will generate a predicted £1.1bn uplift in the region’s GVA and the partners will be able to deliver individually and collectively a range of projects which will not only improve the area for existing residents, but also encourage more to move here, which will help address some of the common challenges we face.”
The deal will deliver across four themes: Improving places; enabling infrastructure; encouraging green growth; and supporting innovation, business and skills.
Each theme has an agreed set of projects which will help deliver a step change for the businesses and communities of the Borderlands by increasing productivity, growing the working age population and delivering a more inclusive economy.
The deal will deliver an investment of up to £31m in green energy projects and £7m to develop skills needed by the regional economy, along with much needed improvements in digital and mobile connectivity across the region.
The importance of the region’s towns will be the focus of the £50m Place Programme, which, along with significant investments in tourism and business infrastructure, will help position the Borderlands as a vibrant and attractive place to live and visit.
Delivery has already started on some of the deal projects, following the release of early funding by the UK Government.