New EU funding region would benefit the Borders

Calum Kerr, SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Calum Kerr, SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Scottish Government plans to create a new European Funding administrative region for the South of Scotland continue to attract support.

Leading SNP politicians in the Borders are joining forces to back the boundary changes and increase the Scottish administrative region’s from four to five, creating a South of Scotland region that would take in the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, plus the North Ayrshire mainland.

MP Calum Kerr and MSPs Paul Wheelhouse and Christine Grahame all support the move, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Mr Kerr explaining: “This is a massive opportunity for the Borders and one we need to take advantage of.

“It has the potential to completely transform the funding help we receive and to make this a better place to live and work.

“The problem is that at present, we’re combined with more affluent areas such as Edinburgh and Dundee when it comes to NUTS2 funding.

“Here in the Borders, we have a lower level of GDP per head, but that’s hidden by the fact that we’re lumped in with these major centres of population.”

South of Scotland MSP Paul Wheelhouse added: “I warmly welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has listened to the South of Scotland Alliance, Scottish Borders Council and those of us who have also advocated this change for many years.

“Calum, Christine and I are delighted Scottish Ministers are consulting on creation of a new region for Southern Scotland and we strongly support this move.

“I meet many businesses frustrated that they are currently unable to obtain funding support for investment projects locally due to how we are currently classified for EU funding.”