Galloway to share £345m cash boost

Hopes are high that some of the Deal's funds will used to get the Stranraer Waterfront upgrade project underway
Hopes are high that some of the Deal's funds will used to get the Stranraer Waterfront upgrade project underway

This week the long-awaited Borderlands Deal was delivered with £345m to spend on boosting the economy of the South of Scotland and North of England.

The question remains of exactly what share Galloway will get of the new funding,

The Scottish Government had already committed £85m to the Deal coffers when the remaining £260m cash was announced by the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond during his Spring statement on Wednesday.

However, at least one local politician is already claiming that the area has been short-changed.

Earlier this week the Scottish Government said the Deal would “fund economic development activity across a range of themes, including digital connectivity, tourism, regeneration and skills.”

It has certainly raised hopes of the long-promised improvements to the A75 and A 76 going ahead, these routes possibly soon to take extra traffic as Brexit increases the importance of Stranraer as a ferry port and UK economic lifeline.

But South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth claimed after the funding annoucements that the funding just wasn’t enough.

“This funding falls short of the more than £400 million the Borderlands councils requested to deliver the planned projects,” he said.

There was a totally different reaction from his Conservative counterpart, Finlay Carson MSP who commented: “I look forward to working closely with stakeholders to ensure that every community of Galloway and West Dumfries feels the benefit of this long overdue economic boost.

“I particularly look forward to seeing more detail on the chosen projects which I sincerely hope includes the Stranraer waterfront project.”