Concerns raised that some Borderlands projects will be "unaffordable" without further Government support

Escalating costs could render some vital Borderlands projects ‘unaffordable’, according to Northumberland County Council’s finance ch ief.
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Jan Willis said more support from Government was needed to deliver projects promised under the landmark £450m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

Projects including the Ad Gefrin whisky distillery in Wooler and Lilidorei play village in Alnwick have been completed thanks to Borderlands funding but other projects such as the redevelopment of The Maltings Theatre in Berwick are still in the pipeline.

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At a meeting of the county council’s audit committe, the section 151 officer acknowledged some projects weren’t progressing as quickly as hoped and that discussions were ongoing with the Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities (LUHC).

The Maltings in Berwick.The Maltings in Berwick.
The Maltings in Berwick.

Responsing to a question from Stocksfield councillor Anne Dale, Ms Willis said: “I have been involved in discussions with LUHC officials about how costs escalating are going to be dealt with, and that is a significant challenge facing the Borderlands.

“Some of the projects are becoming increasingly unaffordable unless Government put more money into the pot. So, some of the delay is due to those discussions taking place with Government.”

Ms Willis added that she would be happy to circulate a report with members on the current progress of the Borderlands deal projects.

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The Borderlands deal was signed by Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council. Since then, local government in Cumbria has been reorganised from a two-tier system into two unitary authorities; Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.