First Borderlands Conference to meet next month

Scottish Secretary David Mundell.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell.

Senior UK and Scottish government ministers will speak at the first Borderlands Conference which will be held in Dumfries next month.

The conference, in Easterbrook Hall on Monday, June 18, will bring together the Borderlands Partnership, stakeholders and local and national politicians in a bid to enhance the proposals that will be made to both the UK and Scottish governments later this year.

Keynote speakers will include David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland and Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work.

Mr Mundell said: “The Borderlands Growth Deal is a genuinely innovative initiative and has the potential to transform the economy of the whole region, both in the South of Scotland and across the border, creating jobs and increasing prosperity. It aims to build on the successes of city and growth deals across Scotland that are already delivering benefits for people and businesses.

“I have been impressed with proposals put forward by partners and look forward to continuing fruitful discussions as we work towards a deal.”

The proposed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is unique and is a partnership that brings together the five cross-border local authorities of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council to promote the economic growth and competitiveness of the area that straddles the Scotland-England border.

Mr Brown also said the Scottish Government has made a clear commitment to a deal for the Borderlands that will drive inclusive growth across the area.

He continued: “Indeed, we want to see every part of Scotland benefit from this sort of focused, transformational investment.

“We want to ensure that the Borderlands deal complements the Scottish Government’s commitment to establishing a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland, and have been running a series of events across the South of Scotland to hear what the people who live and work in the area want. I look forward to the event in June as an opportunity to hear from stakeholders across the Borderlands - their aims, aspirations and ambitions for the deal and how was can work together to make them happen.”

The conference will take place between 9am and 3.30pm. Places can be booked via www.borderlandsgrowth.com/get-involved.