The Scottish Government has pledged £85m to the Borderlands region amid a call for the UK government to match its funding.

Infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson announced today that the government in Edinburgh will be channelling £85m into the Borderlands Growth Deal initiative over the next 10 years.

The Borderlands strategy is a new long-term investment plan designed to grow the economy around the English/Scottish border.

“I am delighted to confirm that the Scottish Government is investing up to £85 million in the Borderlands Deal to support and develop the South of Scotland economy," said Mr Matheson following the announcement from Holyrood.

“Alongside the establishment of a new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland, and the activity being taken forward by the South of Scotland economic partnership, this investment will help to drive inclusive growth that delivers significant and lasting economic benefits for individuals, businesses and communities right across the region."

Mr Matheson then pressed the government in Westminster to match the funding pledge from the SNP-led administration.

“I call on the UK Government to match our financial commitment, over the same timescale of ten years, to deliver a package of transformational investment that will harness the region’s full economic potential.”

Those hopeful for a financial commitment from the chancellor, Philip Hammond will be listening attentively to his Spring statement, to take place at 12.30pm today.

Despite not being a full budget, there is a potential for an announcement on the Borderlands being included in Mr Hammond's speech this afternoon.

Conservative MP for Hexham Guy Opperman said this morning on Twitter that he was hopeful the chancellor would provide confirmation of funding for the Borderlands region in this lunchtime's statement.

A partnership between five local authorities across the borders region - Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Carlisle City and Cumbria County councils - the Borderlands partnership hopes to implement a long-term economic growth strategy in the borders region.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson, who was appointed the Borderlands 'champion' in Parliament by the Prime Minister in 2018, welcomed the recent Treasury announcement of £102m for the new south Carlisle bypass as a "tremendous" opportunity to boost connectivity for the wider Borderlands area.