Oral Question: Growth Deals

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John Stevenson: What progress his Department has made on delivering growth deals for every region in Scotland.

Iain Stewart: We have made a commitment to deliver a deal for every part of Scotland. Five deals are now fully agreed and four are agreed in principle. We are in discussion with the Treasury to agree the parameters of the final two deals and the role that the deal programme as a whole can play more generally in our economic recovery.

John Stevenson: The Minister will be aware that the Borderlands is considered a great success. However, to ensure that such initiatives are truly successful and properly implemented requires timely decisions by all parties involved, and that is something the Prime Minister certainly wants to see happen. Will the Minister commit to doing everything he can at UK level and the Scottish parliamentary level, particularly with regard to the Treasury, to ensure that the Borderlands initiative proceeds quickly and effectively?

Iain Stewart: Yes, absolutely, and I should add that my hon. Friend has been an excellent champion of the Borderlands deal. We are making good progress with it, including the consideration of individual projects such as the dairy innovation centre. We hope to be able to agree the terms of a full deal later this year. I should also mention that I am meeting the Campaign for Borders Rail team later this month to discuss that project, and I would greatly welcome his thoughts on that.

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