An alliance pursuing a game-changing deal for the Borderlands say talks are progressing well.

Philip Hammond said in his Budget last week that talks about support for the landmark regeneration were on-going. There had been hope from some quarters that the chancellor would signal greater progress.

But, given that details for a deal were only submitted weeks ago, the authorities behind the vision remain upbeat.

Partnership members - including Carlisle City and Cumbria County councils - held discussions in the Scottish Parliament last week, following on from talks at Westminster.

The next step of the scheme is to produce a “heads of term” agreement with parliaments north and south of the border, to help bring about support that will help projects including creating a new transport hub at Carlisle Railway Station.

A Borderlands Partnership spokesman said: “Some significant work is still required to reach Heads of Terms, which will be the foundation of a final Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, but discussions are progressing well and there is a collective will from both governments and the Partnership to see it done.

“Having only submitted the proposal to the two governments at the end of last month we didn’t expect any formal funding announcement in the budget statement, however, the chancellor’s commitment to the ongoing discussions is encouraging.”

And there were elements of the Budget the partnership hopes will support its aims. They include the allocation of £200m to roll-out full fibre broadband in rural areas, and billions pledged to support high streets.

“The ongoing commitment of the Scottish Government to working towards a growth deal for the Borderlands region has also been reiterated to the leaders of the partnership’s local authorities,” the Borderlands spokesman added. “We continue to work closely with both governments on the next steps to deliver on our ambitions.”

Other projects in the Borderlands vision include the redevelopment of the former Chapelcross nuclear power plant, near Annan, and extending the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle. There are also plans for schemes including the creation of an energy investment company and developing Destination Borderlands.

The document submitted to the governments highlighted areas where the Borderlands partners can work with the governments on strategic transport schemes and land and marine management.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson is the Borderlands Champion at Westminster.