John Stevenson: What recent assessment he has made of the impact of growth deals on the Scottish economy.
Iain Stewart: All parts of Scotland have a growth deal in implementation or negotiation, with the UK Government committing more than £1.5 billion. These agreements are stimulating local economies to build back better after the pandemic, delivering thousands of jobs across Scotland and enriching communities.
John Stevenson: The Borderlands growth deal has been very well received on both sides of the border. It demonstrates the benefits of a close working relationship between councils, MPs and Government. Given that success, would the Minister envisage a further opportunity for a Borderlands mark 2?
Iain Stewart: I strongly agree with my hon. Friend that the Borderlands growth deal is a great demonstration of what can be achieved when we work together. I recently visited Innerleithen in the constituency of my right hon. Friend David Mundell and saw some of the great work that is happening there. What is really important about these growth deals is that they develop strong local partnerships that can form the basis for longer-term economic plans. My hon. Friend was a fantastic champion of the Borderlands growth deal, and I know that he will be at the forefront of developing these future plans.