Business leaders have joined the £452 million Borderlands partnership.
The Borderlands deal was signed in March by local councils and the UK and Scottish governments and aims to bring fresh investment to the area – it estimates a range of projects will deliver up to 5,500 jobs.
The partnership is made up of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council.
The new business-led Borderlands Economic Forum is now in place, to support delivery of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
Working in support of the Borderlands Partnership Board, the 10 private business representatives on the economic forum will bring commercial experience to complement public sector stakeholders from the South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, and the Cumbria and North East local enterprise partnerships.
Business consultant Jack Stopforth is the newly elected chair of the Borderlands Economic Forum.
He said: “I am delighted to be elected as the first chair of the Borderlands Economic Forum.
“The deal will enable the Borderlands area to create sustainable jobs, re-invigorate the economy, and build strategically for long term growth and prosperity.
“We are excited to be involved in its delivery and want to engage the wider business community to ensure that we see the maximum return of investment, jobs and training opportunities for local people and inward investors”.
John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council and Borderlands Partnership board co-chair, said: “Our new forum is a key part of delivering the deal, bringing the business voice to the table and helping us to remain connected to the business community across the region. I’m looking forward to the knowledge and experience they will contribute.”
The Deal will deliver across four themes: improving places; enabling infrastructure; encouraging green growth; and supporting innovation, business and skills. Each theme has an agreed set of projects which will help deliver a step change for the