SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) has a happy headache to solve after it was allocated £20m in Levelling Up funding.

The Borders is one of four areas selected in Scotland for a Levelling Up Partnership with the UK Government, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his autumn statement this week.

The cash bonanza is a double boost for the local authority this week after it was also allocated a share in £22m of Levelling Up funding in conjunction with with Dumfries and Galloway Council and South Lanarkshire Council.

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine, Conservative leader of SBC, expressed his delight at the latest £20m windfall – and discussions now begin as to where it is allocated.

He said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Borders has been announced as one of four areas of Scotland to benefit from developing a Levelling Up Partnership with the UK Government and £20 million of associated funding.

“The aim of this initiative is to support regeneration in areas of most need and we look forward to welcoming the UK Government’s Levelling Up Partnerships team to help identify interventions which will have the biggest impact and to rapidly progress discussions with our communities and partners.

“This process will allow us to identify the most effective projects to tackle some of the challenges we have here in the Borders and deliver the biggest impacts.”

“This is very welcome investment into our area and will have a very positive impact in our communities.”

SBC will now work closely with the UK Government, Scottish Government, local partners and communities to identify appropriate projects and co-produce associated delivery plans.

Borders Conservative MP John Lamont said: “This is a very welcome development after months of speaking with the UK chancellor and his team to discuss the need for additional funding for the Borders.