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13 March 2019

FSB: Borderlands Growth Deal must deliver

Reference number: SPUR1303

Today both the UK and Scottish Governments have announced substantial investments into the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes that the focus must now turn towards ensuring that this landmark deal delivers the transformation that the Borders deserves.

Garry Clark, FSB Development Manager for the Scottish Borders, said: “As Borderlands moves another step closer, small businesses in the Borders will welcome the fact that it will be resourced to deliver the kind of transformational change that they have come to expect. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to leverage investment across the Borders and to put the building blocks in place for much needed infrastructure projects, such as the extension of the Borders Railway through Hawick to Carlisle.

“94% of businesses in the Borders are small and micro businesses and 3 in every 5 people are employed by these businesses. That is why Borderlands must hard wire the voice of local businesses into the new deal through the appointment of a Small Business Champion.”

Local FSB member Hans Waltl said: “Strategic economic investment in the Borders is long overdue and I welcome the support that this deal could provide to develop our region’s significant potential. This money must be used to enhance our local tourism offering, such as the growing mountain biking and active outdoor tourism offerings in the Tweed Valley and beyond.

“Together with the development of a new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, this is a time of optimism and hope for the Borders economy, and I look forward to tangible evidence of progress.”