AN extension of the Borders Railway into England will be looked at, now that relevant funding has been accelerated.

A feasibility study into connecting the region’s train line across the border will be held after it was confirmed that investment into Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal projects would be delivered over 10 years rather than 15.

The UK and Scottish Government-deal aims to improve places and infrastructure, encourage green growth and support innovation, business and skills across five council areas, including the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

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Shona Haslam, the council leader and co-chairperson on the Borderlands Partnership Board, says the deal will have a “transformational impact” by creating 5,500 jobs and bringing in more than four million tourists.

She said: “The unlocking of investment in our towns will generate a predicted £1.1billion uplift in the region’s GVA and the partners will be able to deliver individually and collectively a range of projects which will not only improve the area for existing residents but also encourage more to move here, which will help address some of the common challenges we face.”

The feasibility study will look into the extension of the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle.

At a full council meeting before the announcement was made, Hawick councillor Davie Paterson described the extension as “paramount”.

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The council’s executive director, Rob Dickson, told the meeting that although the rail extension "is not explicitly contained” within the council's economic development priorities report, the connection across the Border is a part of future plans.

“It clearly is a priority to try and move on the feasibility study for extending the Borders Railway,” said Mr Dickson.

“There is funding committed to that feasibility study and clearly if we can secure a deal early next year then that will allow us to accelerate the feasibility study.”