Success in delivering Lilidorei in Alnwick and Ad Gefrin in Wooler celebrated at Borderlands conference

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The success and delivery of two Northumberland projects has been celebrated at a Borderlands conference.

Cross-border councils, businesses and project representatives met in Penrith to hear about work taking place as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The deal has already helped deliver major capital projects such as £16m Ad Gefrin, an Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery, and the £15m children's play park Lilidorei at the Alnwick Garden, creating more than 100 jobs between them.

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In addition, the Digital Borderlands programme has seen 3,353 homes and businesses secure faster and more reliable broadband connections in areas previously suffering from slow internet speeds.

Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden.Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden.
Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden.

The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is a ten year, £450m programme of investment to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic benefits, including £265m from the UK Government and £85m from the Scottish Government.

Today's conference brought together representatives from the five authorities – Cumberland, Dumfries & Galloway, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, and Westmorland and Furness Councils - for the first time since the local government reorganisation in Cumbria earlier this year.

It is the only Regional Growth Deal comprising areas in England and Scotland, showcasing a unique and ambitious approach to cross-border working between governments, local authorities and partners.

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Jack Stopforth, chairman of the Borderlands Economic Forum, said: “We are now in year three of this ten year deal and it is great to be able to showcase the successes we have achieved since the signing in March 2021.

The Ad Gefrin distillery and Anglo-Saxon museum in Wooler.The Ad Gefrin distillery and Anglo-Saxon museum in Wooler.
The Ad Gefrin distillery and Anglo-Saxon museum in Wooler.

“Working in partnership the five councils have already made exceptional progress, but today is as much about looking forward as well as back.

“Whether it's significant capital projects on both sides of the border, or programmes to encourage green growth and enable infrastructure, we have lots we want to make happen to improve the region for residents, businesses and visitors.”

Dehenna Davison MP, UK Government Levelling Up Minister, said: “We want to breathe new life into areas which have long been overlooked, so it’s exciting to hear that this deal is providing jobs and boosting prosperity for people on both sides of the border.”

Other major projects in the pipeline include a new Berwick Theatre, as well improving access to natural assets like Hadrian's Wall and the Tweed Valley.