Detailed plans on how £345m will be spent in the borders region could be place by early summer, a senior local politician has revealed.

Carlisle City Council leader Colin Glover, one of the key figures in the development of the Borderlands strategy, confirmed that those involved want to begin turning their plans into reality as soon as the finer details have been established. 

There was joy across the region following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement, in the Spring Statement on Wednesday, that the Government has pledged £260m to the Borderlands. This is in addition to the £85m already set aside by the Scottish Government.

The Borderlands deal is a collection of projects designed to boost economic growth on both sides of the English and Scottish border, by improving the transport, tourism business and energy sectors in the region. “What we go into now is the more detailed negotiations on the partnership’s priorities,” said Mr Glover, “but we want to get on as quickly as possible for the benefit of our residents and businesses.

“I don’t want people to think they’re not going to see anything for many years. The work and preparation has been going on for a long time. 

“We are ready to start delivering once the finer details have been agreed.

“From the conversations we have had we would like to be able to move towards heads of terms with both governments by early summer.”

The council leader stressed that the Borderlands project is designed to benefit the whole borders region, both in England and Scotland, but Carlisle is seen as an important hub.

“One project that’s particularly important in Carlisle is the Station Gateway project, which looks at how we can make significant improvement to Carlisle railway station and the surrounding area,” he explained. 

“Carlisle is the regional capital of the Borderlands, but this is as much about working for the whole region.

“As a whole the project will benefit more than a million residents. It’s going to generate new jobs. It will bring in extra visitors to our region.

“This is one of the biggest transformational deals that we have seen for a very long time.”

The funding announcement came after recent news that £102m was to be allocated to building the new southern Carlisle ring road, which Mr Glover said will bring great benefit to the new St Cuthbert’s Garden Village project.

And, just yesterday, Highways England announced it was to spend £7m on upgrading the M6 motorway between Junctions 44 at north Carlisle and 45 near Gretna.

“Carlisle is a place where a lot of good things are happening,” Mr Glover added.

The double funding announcement for The Borderlands Growth Deal has been welcomed by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, which has already committed Growth Deal funding to the Carlisle Station Gateway and the Citadels projects.

Its chief executive Jo Lappin said it would help “deliver cross regional and cross-national economic growth”.

“Importantly, the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal funding from Government will be of benefit to businesses and people across the whole of Cumbria and we are determined to work effectively with Borderlands colleagues to bring it to fruition and make sure that everybody benefits,” she added.