DG Council Team Look To Build Economic Links Across the North Channel

Dumfries & Galloway Council Press Release

Economic Growth is vital to Dumfries and Galloway and we are keen to explore new ways to increase our region’s potential by working in partnership with our neighbours.

We have already formed the successful Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal partnership with the local authorities’ of Scottish Borders, Cumbria, Carlisle City and Northumberland and are now keen to build on this success with our neighbours in the West.

With this in mind, a delegation of Members from Dumfries and Galloway Council travelled to Northern Ireland (28th August) to spend two days meeting with Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Mayor Maureen Morrow and Members of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. The two Council’s already have a shared history with the North Channel Partnership Group which was set up in 1999, and we are keen to re-establish and build on this.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “We have strong ties to Scotland, and Dumfries and Galloway, and I am delighted to welcome our visitors to Mid and East Antrim – an area with such a rich and proud Ulster-Scots heritage. This visit is all about building on our close relationship and exploring what we can do together to grow our respective economies for the benefit of all our citizens.

“We will also be exchanging ideas and shared learning, and showcasing just some of Mid and East Antrim’s many tourism gems. We will be discussing our plans for significant investment locally through Belfast Region City Deal, as well as other ambitious development opportunities we are currently working on.”

Chair of Mid and East Antrim’s Borough Growth Committee, Councillor Gregg McKeen, welcomed the reinvigoration of the partnership. He said: “Our Scottish counterparts have a lot of experience in developing infrastructure, the economy and tourism, and we are keen to learn from that. This renewed partnership moves us beyond the original vision for the body. This will focus us on connectivity and infrastructure, and how both areas can benefit from one another’s development.”

The councils plan to discuss opportunities for greater joined up working on a number of key issues, including: improved infrastructure and connectivity, including roads and broadband; Brexit; ports and town centre regeneration; and tourism.

Rob Davidson, Depute Leader and Chair of Economy and Resources Committee said: “We face many similar challenges in terms of economic regeneration, demographics, and transport infrastructure. Both our regions are now part of significant growth deals and the time has never better for us to reinvigorate the North Channel Partnership and examine how we can work together to attract future investment.

I’d like to thank my colleagues in Mid and East Antrim for arranging a full programme which will really focus on areas of shared interest and potential joint projects. I hope that it will be the start of a fruitful relationship between our Councils and one which will deliver economic benefits for both our regions.”

Archie Dryburgh, Vice Chair of Economy and Resources said “‘We are looking forward to our visit to Mid and East Antrim council. The Statistics show how similar both councils are with the same issues and industries, there is a strong appetite in Dumfries and Galloway to reinvigorate our former arrangements to the benefit of both councils.

We want to thank Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Mayor Councillor Morrow and Councillors McKeen and Donnelly for the invite to restart what I hope will be a very fruitful relationship between our two councils.”

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