the north face denali jacket Borderlands Deal could transform north Cumbrian economy
THE Government’s Northern Powerhouse minister has “fired the starting gun” on an ambitious initiative designed to transform north Cumbria’s economy.
Jake Berry gave his positive assessment of the Government’s Borderlands Growth Deal after meeting some of the project’s key players in Carlisle.
He said the aim was to boost the region’s economy, and create more better paid jobs a committment that will ultimately be backed up by Government cash for specific projects.
“It’s too early to say how much money in total will come from the Government but what we can say is that we have made a great start.
“There is a well worked up list of ambitious projects which I will champion in Government.”
Asked what challenges the Borderlands initiative aims to address, the minister replied that in some sectors it was the area’s low wage economy.
“The challenge now is for us,” he said. “What we have to do is come up with projects which have been properly assessed and [costed] and then these can be put to the Treasury to lead directly to increased economic activity.
Carlisle City Council leader Colin Glover was also optimistic, saying he was struck by the commitment to the project from both the minister and from David Mundell,
Secretary of State for Scotland, who was also at the meeting.
It was the first time senior players in the project have met since the Borderlands Growth Deal was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the last 2017 budget.
A spokesman for the project said: “Our shared ambition is to play our full part in the regional and wider UK economy and unlock the potential of the south of Scotland and North of England.
“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss the Borderlands Growth Deal directly with ministers.”
Mr Mundell added: “We are continuing to make good progress towards a Borderlands Growth Deal, which has the potential to transform the economy of the whole region, creating jobs and increasing prosperity.
“I was impressed by their enthusiasm for, and the energy behind,
creating a transformitave deal.”
He said those involved would continue to work closely with the Borderlands partners to work up the details of their project proposals.