Dumfries & Galloway Council Sign £452 Million Historic Borderlands Deal

Dumfries and Galloway Council is delighted to announce that we and our neighbouring councils in the Scottish Borders, Cumbria, Carlisle and Northumberland signed the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal on 18th March 2021.

The £452m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a unique, cross border collaboration which will deliver a multi-million-pound investment to Dumfries and Galloway over 10 years. With inclusive and sustainable growth at its heart, the Deal aims to improve the long-term prosperity of our communities while enhancing the environment of the whole region.
An allocation of £150 million, equating to £85 million from the Scottish Government and £65 million from the UK Government, will directly benefit the South of Scotland, split between Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council. For Dumfries and Galloway, this will mean a total investment in our region of approximately £85m.
Aspects of the Deal are still being developed, but some of the confirmed key projects include:

Stranraer Marina: (Main image)
Our region, like others in Borderlands, relies heavily on tourism and the Destination theme within the Deal includes investment in Stranraer Marina. This will bring new jobs to the area and will also help Stranraer redefine itself as a destination with a wide offer for tourists and locals alike. Active engagement is underway with other projects and initiatives in the area which are complementary to the Marina project. Up to £16m will be available through the Borderlands Deal for the transformation of the area, which will attract further public and private sector investment and encourage wider regeneration, stimulate growth and provide quality employment.

The Energy Theme includes the redevelopment of the former nuclear power station at Chapelcross, near Annan, as a strategic green-energy focussed employment site, bringing new business and jobs to the region. This welcome investment totalling £21m from the UK and Scottish Governments and local partners will benefit the Annan, Gretna, Lockerbie corridor and will ensure the continuation of partnership working with the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.

Dairy Nexus
Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria are home to 13% of the UK’s dairy herd and our local economy is very dependent on this sector. The Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) is sponsoring the creation of the Dairy Nexus at the Barony College, developing research and innovation to decarbonise forage-based dairy farming, optimise milk composition and production while safeguarding animal wellbeing, and add value through biorefining milk, grass and manure. This project will receive £8m of funding from the Deal.

£4m will be invested to improve and extend the 7Stanes network of mountain bike trails in Dumfries and Galloway, enhancing the experience for existing and potential users.
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “I am delighted that we are now at the stage of signing the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. This is the culmination of three years of hard work and shared ambition to produce the first cross-border deal and the largest UK growth deal to date. The Deal will improve connectivity, deliver skills and innovation, and support the longer-term resilience of our towns and communities. This in turn will help attract new residents and new employment opportunities, and welcome more visitors to our region.

Gretna – Star of Caledonia

The flagship regeneration and cultural project, the Star of Caledonia is also a committed Borderlands project. We understand that announcements are expected in the near future which our sources suggest will see this transformational project for DG come to life.’

We anticipate that the Deal will deliver an additional 5,500 jobs to the Borderlands, attract over four million extra tourists, unlock investment in our towns, and boost the region’s economy by £1.1billion. This Deal will make a very significant contribution to the economic growth of Dumfries and Galloway, attracting further investment, improving our towns and benefitting the whole of our region.”



Borderlands is situated in the centre of the UK. It includes the counties of Cumbria and Northumberland in England and Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders in Scotland. It has a population of over 1 million and is within 2 hours drive of 14 million people. Further details about the Deal and a map illustrating the area is available on the homepage of the website www.borderlandsgrowth.com

The total funding value announced for the Deal is £450 million – £150 million in Scotland and up to £200 million in England plus £102m from local partners. The Scottish allocation from the Deal is provided jointly by both Scottish and UK Governments with £85 million from the Scottish Government and £65 million from the UK Government.

The Deal is focused on four strategic themes of improving places; enabling infrastructure; encouraging green growth and supporting business, innovation and skills. Each theme has an agreed set of projects which will help deliver a step change for the businesses and communities of Borderlands by increasing productivity, growing the working age population and delivering a more inclusive economy.

The Deal also sees investment in several themed areas, such as Digital, Energy, Skills, Place, and Natural Capital. Work on the detail of the investment is ongoing but further specific investment across D&G will be announced.

To connect people and place across the Borderlands, we need improved full fibre connectivity together with 4G mobile connectivity. This investment will complement existing government programmes.

Development of an overarching Borderlands Energy Masterplan is underway to identify priorities that complement the UK and Scottish Governments’ ambitions for clean growth. This will set the framework for investment in future energy projects.

Place Programme
This stream recognises the importance of smaller rural market and coastal towns to the local economy and will see overall investment of £12.75m in some of our small towns for projects which support economic growth. Each town that is identified for inclusion will develop a Place Plan for how funding will be spent and how it will help boost economic activity in that town.

South of Scotland Learning Network
This emerging proposition will look to use allocated funding to help future proof skills and learning offering in the South of Scotland and to maximise the impact of wider Borderlands Deal investment. It will ensure that it meets the needs of the evolving economy post pandemic. The development of the proposals will respond to the identified future skills and knowledge exchange needs of Borderlands projects and programmes.

Latest Articles