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Borderlands Partnership June 2023 newsletter

Update from the Partnership Board

The Borderlands Partnership Board meeting in June was held virtually on Teams and streamed online.

The Board welcomed Councillors Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Council, and Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, who join the Partnership following the Local Government Reorganisation in Cumbria.

The Board also recognised the enormous contribution made to Borderlands over many years by Janice Rose from Northumberland County Council, ahead of her retirement in August.

Borderlands Conference

Representatives from councils, businesses and projects joined a conference in Penrith in June to mark the progress of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal so far.

The morning saw presentations on the Mountain Bike Project and Ad Gefrin, a panel discussion led by the Chair of the Borderlands Economic Forum, as well as messages from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Scottish Government.

The conference, which received positive media coverage on TV, radio and online, noted the success in delivery of projects with several already completed and many about to begin this year.

The Partnership also renewed its commitment to working with the UK and Scottish Governments to bring lasting change to the whole of the Borderlands region.


The magical children’s play park, Lilidorei, has officially opened at the Alnwick Garden in Northumberland.

The £18.5million project, backed by £5.5m from Borderlands, has created more than 50 new jobs and will be a year round destination for the region.

Visitors can explore adventure pathways, catwalks and tunnel slides set around the theme of a mythical Elf Kingdom.

The owners have already reported strong demand from visitors with hundreds of people coming each day.

Berwick Theatre

A design team has been appointed to progress a new multi-million pound arts venue in Berwick.

The new Maltings venue will be an iconic multi-purpose cultural and entertainment complex when its doors open in 2026.

MICA has a track record in transforming arts, education, and cultural destinations such as Fairfield Halls in Croydon, Hay Castle in Wales and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Borderlands is the principal funder of the project with work planned to start on site in early 2024.

Mountain Bike Project

Planning permission has been secured to renovate Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen to be the home of the new Mountain Bike Innovation Centre.

The Innovation Centre is predicted to contribute £141m in Gross Value Added (GVA) and create over 400 jobs in the South of Scotland over ten years.

It is being developed by South of Scotland Enterprise alongside partners Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish Borders Council.

The project is due to submit its Final Business Case to the Borderlands Partnership Board in the coming months.



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