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John Stevenson The Mp For Carlisle

Major event to give Borderlands growth deal a boost

Published on: Friday 18th May 2018

An event next month will mark a major step forward in the deal to boost the future of northern England and southern Scotland.

Senior UK and Scottish government ministers will speak at the first Borderlands Conference at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries.

It will take place on Monday, June 18.

The conference will bring together the Borderlands Partnership, stakeholders and local and national politicians.

It will enhance the ambitious growth proposals that will be made to both the UK and Scottish governments later this year.

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

Other key note speakers still to be announced.

The proposed Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is unique.

It 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.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson was confirmed as the Borderlands Champion for England in the Prime Minister’s Questions on May 2.

He said: "Borderlands is a unique opportunity for our region. The work which the five councils have already done is very encouraging.

"I am delighted, as the Prime Minister’s champion for the Borderlands, to support the conference. It will offer participants a chance to hear what work has been done as well as have the opportunity to influence the proposals."

The conference will enable stakeholders to hear about the work to date, the ambition for the Borderlands region and give them the opportunity to provide their input through workshop sessions.

A Borderlands Partnership spokesperson said: “Our first conference is a fantastic opportunity for key stakeholders from right across the area to hear about the work of the Partnership so far and the very positive support we’ve had from both governments to date.

"Later this year we will submit further propositions regarding potential programmes and projects that could be developed under the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal to the two governments.

"The conference workshops will give the many stakeholders the chance to discuss these at an early stage and provide their feedback and input and their support will help strengthen our case.”

The partners are working on a collective ambition to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the south of Scotland and north of England.

The themed topics that the Borderlands Partnership has been working on are energy; digital; transport connections; business; destination Borderlands; quality of place; rural productivity; and skills and innovation.

Scottish Secretary David 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."

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, said: "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."

If you would like to discuss opportunities, ideas and possible working relationships, or would just like more information, visit the Partnership website www.BorderlandsGrowth.com or email info@borderlandsgrowth.com

Places at the conference can be booked via www.borderlandsgrowth.com/get-involved.

Last January Northern Powerhouse and local growth minister Jake Berry visited Carlisle along with Mr Mundell to discuss the Borderlands project.

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